space environment
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2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Malik Bisserier ◽  
Nathaniel Saffran ◽  
Agnieszka Brojakowska ◽  
Aimy Sebastian ◽  
Angela Clare Evans ◽  

During spaceflight, astronauts are exposed to multiple unique environmental factors, particularly microgravity and ionizing radiation, that can cause a range of harmful health consequences. Over the past decades, increasing evidence demonstrates that the space environment can induce changes in gene expression and RNA processing. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) represent an emerging area of focus in molecular biology as they modulate chromatin structure and function, the transcription of neighboring genes, and affect RNA splicing, stability, and translation. They have been implicated in cancer development and associated with diverse cardiovascular conditions and associated risk factors. However, their role on astronauts’ health after spaceflight remains poorly understood. In this perspective article, we provide new insights into the potential role of exosomal lncRNA after spaceflight. We analyzed the transcriptional profile of exosomes isolated from peripheral blood plasma of three astronauts who flew on various Shuttle missions between 1998–2001 by RNA-sequencing. Computational analysis of the transcriptome of these exosomes identified 27 differentially expressed lncRNAs with a Log2 fold change, with molecular, cellular, and clinical implications.

2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
pp. 190
Ida Romano ◽  
Carlo Camerlingo ◽  
Lisa Vaccari ◽  
Giovanni Birarda ◽  
Annarita Poli ◽  

A main factor hampering life in space is represented by high atomic number nuclei and energy (HZE) ions that constitute about 1% of the galactic cosmic rays. In the frame of the “STARLIFE” project, we accessed the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator (HIMAC) facility of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Chiba, Japan. By means of this facility, the extremophilic species Haloterrigena hispanica and Parageobacillus thermantarcticus were irradiated with high LET ions (i.e., Fe, Ar, and He ions) at doses corresponding to long permanence in the space environment. The survivability of HZE-treated cells depended upon either the storage time and the hydration state during irradiation; indeed, dry samples were shown to be more resistant than hydrated ones. With particular regard to spores of the species P. thermantarcticus, they were the most resistant to irradiation in a water medium: an analysis of the changes in their biochemical fingerprinting during irradiation showed that, below the survivability threshold, the spores undergo to a germination-like process, while for higher doses, inactivation takes place as a consequence of the concomitant release of the core’s content and a loss of integrity of the main cellular components. Overall, the results reported here suggest that the selected extremophilic microorganisms could serve as biological model for space simulation and/or real space condition exposure, since they showed good resistance to ionizing radiation exposure and were able to resume cellular growth after long-term storage.

Aerospace ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
pp. 40
Rui Xu ◽  
Chao Chen ◽  
Siyao Lu ◽  
Zhaoyu Li

Pre-designed spacecraft plans suffer from failure due to the uncertain space environment. In this case, instead of spending a long time waiting for ground control to upload a feasible plan in order to achieve the mission goals, the spacecraft could repair the failed plan while executing another part of the plan. This paper proposes a method called Isolation and Repair Plan Failures (IRPF) for a spaceship with durable, concurrent, and resource-dependent actions. To enable the spacecraft to perform some actions when a plan fails, IRPF separates all defective actions from executable actions in the pre-designed plan according to causal analysis between the failure state and the established plan. Then, to address the competition between operation and repair during the partial execution of the plan, IRPF sets up several regulatory factors associated with the search process for a solution, and then repairs the broken plan within the limits of these factors. Experiments were carried out in simulations of a satellite and a multi-rover system. The results demonstrate that, compared with replanning and other plan-repair methods, IRPF creates an execution plan more quickly and searches for a recovery plan with fewer explored state nodes in a shorter period of time.

Lan Luo ◽  
Fenghua Zhang ◽  
Wei Pan ◽  
Yongtao Yao ◽  
Yanju Liu ◽  

Abstract Shape memory polymer foam (SMPF) is being studied extensively as potential aerospace materials as they have high compression ratio, high specific strength and high specific modulus compared to other shape memory polymers. In this paper, a composite foam with shape memory epoxy (SMEP) as matrix and polyurethane (PU) as functional phase was prepared. The SMPF has been characterized by different analytical and testing methods, and its chemical crosslinking reaction and material properties have been studied. The SMPF was installed in the shape memory polymer composite (SMPC) flexible solar array system (SMPC-FSAS), and ground environment tests and orbital validation were performed. Considering the particularity of space environment, the thermal performance test of ground space environment can effectively test the reliability of shape memory performance. Finally, the SMPC-FSAS carried on SJ-20 satellite successfully deployed on geosynchronous orbit for the first time in the world. Moving forward, SMPF assesses the feasibility of applications in the space field and provides more valuable information.

Nanomaterials ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 257
Avraham I. Bram ◽  
Irina Gouzman ◽  
Asaf Bolker ◽  
Nurit Atar ◽  
Noam Eliaz ◽  

In order to use polymers at low Earth orbit (LEO) environment, they must be protected against atomic oxygen (AO) erosion. A promising protection strategy is to incorporate polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) molecules into the polymer backbone. In this study, the space durability of epoxy-POSS (EPOSS) nanocomposites was investigated. Two types of POSS molecules were incorporated separately—amine-based and epoxy-based. The outgassing properties of the EPOSS, in terms of total mass loss, collected volatile condensable material, and water vapor regain were measured as a function of POSS type and content. The AO durability was studied using a ground-based AO simulation system. Surface compositions of EPOSS were studied using high-resolution scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. It was found that with respect to the outgassing properties, only some of the EPOSS compositions were suitable for the ultrahigh vacuum space environment, and that the POSS type and content had a strong effect on their outgassing properties. Regardless of the POSS type being used, the AO durability improved significantly. This improvement is attributed to the formation of a self-passivated AO durable SiO2 layer, and demonstrates the potential use of EPOSS as a qualified nanocomposite for space applications.

Renjun Mao ◽  
Zhenqing Bai ◽  
Jiawen Wu ◽  
Ruilian Han ◽  
Xuemin Zhang ◽  

Senna obtusifolia is a famous medicinal plant that is widely used in Asian countries. Its seed plays an important role in the treatment of many diseases because it contains various anthraquinones and flavonoids. Our previous studies have indicated that three space environment-induced S. obtusifolia lines (SP-lines) i.e., QC10, QC29, and QC46, have higher seed yield and aurantio-obtusin (AO) content. However, the underlying mechanism of higher AO content in SP-lines is still unknown. Herein, transcriptome sequencing and HPLC were employed to analyze the differences between SP-lines and ground control (GC3) and elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of AO accumulation in SP-lines. The results show that 4002 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in SP-lines versus (vs.) GC3. DEGs in the QC10 vs. GC3, QC29 vs. GC3, and QC46 vs. GC3 comparisons were classified into 28, 36, and 81 GO terms and involved in 63, 74, and 107 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. KEGG pathway and gene expression analysis revealed that DEGs involved in anthraquinone pathways were significantly elevated in QC10 and QC46. Integrating the results of GO annotation, KEGG enrichment, and gene expression analysis, we propose that the elevated genes such as DAHPS, DHQS, and MenB enhance the metabolic flux in the anthraquinone pathway and promote AO content in QC10 and QC46. Taken together, this study elucidated the mechanism of AO content in SP-lines and provides valuable genetic information for S. obtusifolia. In addition, to the best of our knowledge, this study presents the first transcriptome analysis of environment-induced medicinal plants and paves the way to select elite S. obtusifolia varieties in the future.

Polymers ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (2) ◽  
pp. 322
Hong Qi ◽  
Qingshan Shi ◽  
Yuhai Qian ◽  
Yueming Li ◽  
Jingjun Xu ◽  

In this work, the atomic oxygen (AO) erosion-resistance effect and mechanism of the Perhydropolysilazane (PHPS) coating were investigated from the perspective of element distribution in the depth direction. The results revealed that the coating demonstrated good adhesion and intrinsic AO erosion-resistance, which was attributed to the composition gradient formed in the coating. Moreover, the oxygen ratio of the SiOx on top layer of the coating could be elevated during AO exposure, strengthening the Ar ion etching durability of the coating. According to these results, an AO erosion-resistance mechanism model of the PHPS-derived SiOx coating was finally obtained.

2022 ◽  
Hao Jian-Hong ◽  
Xue Bi-Xi ◽  
Zhao Qiang ◽  
Zhang Fang ◽  
Fan Jie-Qing ◽  

Abstract It is known that ion-focused regime can effectively suppress the expansion of relativistic electron beam (REB). By using particle in cell-Monte Carlo collision (PIC-MCC) method, the propagation of REBs in neutral gas is numerically investigated. The numerical results demonstrate that the beam body is charge neutralization and a stable IFR can be established. As a result, the beam transverse dimensions and longitudinal velocities keep close to the initial parameters. We also calculated the charge and current neutralization factors of REBs. Combined with envelope equations, we obtained the variations of beam envelopes, which agree well with the PIC simulations. However, both the energy loss and instabilities of REBs may lead to a low transport efficiency during long-range propagation. It has been proved that decreasing the initial pulse length of REBs can avoid the influence of electron avalanche. Using parts of REB pulses to build a long-distance IFR in advance can improve the beam quality of subsequent pulses. Further, a long-distance IFR may contribute to the implementation of long-range propagation of REBs in the space environment.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 619
Meng Jin ◽  
Wenyi Liu ◽  
Yuan Hao ◽  
Ruihuan Wu ◽  
Zhongchao Wei ◽  

Free-space optical communication (FSO) technology has wide prospects in deep space exploration, but it will encounter coronal turbulence during superior solar conjunction, and solar scintillation will seriously affect the communication quality. In this paper, we propose a terrestrial–deep space hybrid radio frequency (RF)/FSO system with the hybrid L-pulse position modulation-binary phase shift keying-subcarrier intensity modulation (L-PPM–BPSK–SIM) scheme, where the RF channel of the satellite-terrestrial relay follows the Rayleigh distribution, and the FSO channel of the relay satellite to the deep space probe adopts Gamma–Gamma distribution. Considering the pointing error, the expression of the bit error rate (BER), the outage probability, and the average channel capacity of the hybrid system are derived. In addition, we evaluated the influence of coronal turbulence parameters on the system through amplitude fluctuations. The simulation results demonstrate that the hybrid RF/FSO system improves the BER performance by 10 to 30 times in a deep space environment, and the use of a hybrid modulation can further reduce the BER. The non-Kolmogorov spectral index, outer scale, solar wind density fluctuation factor, and optical wavelength comprehensively affect the BER through amplitude fluctuations. Our research results have potential application value for evaluating the link performance of future deep space communications.

Albert R Vasso ◽  
Richard G Cobb ◽  
John M Colombi ◽  
Bryan D Little ◽  
David W Meyer

The US Government is the world’s de facto provider of space object cataloging data, but it is challenged to maintain pace in an increasingly complex space environment. This work advances a multi-disciplinary approach to better understand and evaluate an underexplored solution recommended by national policy in which current collection capabilities are augmented with non-traditional sensors. System architecting techniques and extant literature identified likely needs, performance measures, and potential contributors to a conceptualized Augmented Network (AN). Multiple hypothetical architectures of ground- and space-based telescopes with representative capabilities were modeled and simulated on four separate days throughout the year, then evaluated against performance measures and constraints using Multi-Objective Optimization. Decision analysis and Pareto optimality identified a small, diverse set of high-performing architectures while preserving design flexibility. Should decision-makers adopt the AN approach, this research effort indicates (1) a threefold increase in average capacity, (2) a 55% improvement in coverage, and (3) a 2.5-h decrease in the average maximum time a space object goes unobserved.

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