How does spaceflight lead to medical breakthroughs? Veteran astronaut explains

In the microgravity environment of low Earth orbit, there are many more experiments and research opportunities that can take place in the fields of medical science and developing biomedical technologies that can benefit us on the ground. 

That’s because microgravity makes alterations to organisms such as human bacteria and viruses, DNA, and even transforms the way cells function, enabling astronauts to conduct research that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere. But astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are not just conducting the experiments; they are the focus of some research as well. Impacts to astronaut health continue to be studied with a goal of advancing the care and treatment of issues associated with aging, osteoporosis, wound healing, and more. 

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