NASA's Plans for Life Sciences Research Facilities on a Space Station 840930
A Life Sciences Research Facility on a Space Station will contribute to the health and well-being of humans in space, as well as address many fundamental questions in gravitational and developmental biology. Scientific interests include bone and muscle attrition, fluid and electrolyte shifts, cardiovascular deconditioning, metabolism, neurophysiology, reproduction, behavior, drugs and immunology, radiation biology, and closed life-support system development. The life sciences module will include a laboratory and a vivarium. Trade-offs currently being evaluated include (1) the need for and size of a 1-g control centrifuge; (2) specimen quantities and species for research; (3) degree of on-board analysis versus sample return and ground analysis; (4) type and extent of equipment automation; (5) facility return versus on-orbit refurbishment; (6) facility modularity, isolation, and system independence; and (7) selection of experiments, design, autonomy, sharing, compatibility, and integration.