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Ax-3: Stem cells, microalgae & live events

On January 18th, the third Axiom mission launched on a historic journey to space, flying the first all-European commercial astronaut crew to the ISS. Michael López-Alegría (US/Spain, Mission Commander), Walter Villadei (Italy, Mission Pilot), Alper Gezeravcı (Turkey, Mission Specialist) and Marcus Wandt (Sweden, Mission Specialist) are spending 14 days on board the station, conducting a variety of activities, scientific experiments, microgravity research and communication with the public.

Our service is supporting a number of activities during Ax-3, including a Swedish experiment called MemoBC, led by Prof. Elena Kozlova from the Uppsala University, together with the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA), and handled by Marcus Wandt while in space.

MemoBC aims to explore the molecular intricacies behind the “proliferating memory” phenomenon induced by microgravity on boundary cap neural crest stem cells (BCs). Investigating the effects of microgravity on neural stem cell differentiation, proliferation, and function, this study focuses on identifying possible delayed emergence and the molecular basis for observed effects.

The goal is to unravel the associated molecular mechanisms and understand stem cell-induced changes in culture medium during microgravity, along with genetic and epigenetic modifications. Stem cells, with increased proliferation and differentiation potential in microgravity, hold promise for regenerative medicine.

Read more about the research here.

One of the projects handled by Turkish astronaut Alper Gezeravci is called UzMAn (Microalgae Life Science). The experiment is led by Prof. Berat Z. Haznedaroglu (Boğaziçi University), and accommodated inside our ICE Cubes Facility in the Columbus module.

UzMan aims to investigate the photosynthetic efficiencies of five distinct microalgae species. The primary focus is on understanding their performance in carbon dioxide to oxygen conversion efficiency and metabolic endurance. This research aims to deepen our knowledge of microalgae behavior and contribute valuable insights to the field of life sciences, with potential benefits and applications both on Earth and in view of future space exploration.

Read more about the research here.

microalgae species

Media Set events:

An inflight call with ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen (Huginn mission, Crew-7) and ESA project astronaut Marcus Wandt (Muninn mission, Ax-3) was held during the 16th European Space Conference, in Brussels. ESA DG Josef Aschbacher, Belgian State Secretary Thomas Dermine and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti could interact in real-time with the two astronauts on board the ISS using our Media Set.

Our service was excited to support this and many more real-time crew interactive events during the Axiom-3 mission, from our mission control center in Brussels.

One particularly special live session brought together the entire crew of Axiom-3 for a science debriefing. Watch the full recording above to learn more about the scientific experiments and activities conducted by the four astronauts.

> 80
live events since Media Set commissioning
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