1995-07-01

Modification of the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF) to Support Nursing Rats and Their Litters During Spaceflight 951478

The Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF) is a spaceflight-qualified hardware system for housing adult rats. The Neurolab Space Shuttle mission, targeted for February 1998 on STS-89, will include neuroscience experiments involving nursing rat dams and neonates (newborn rats). Rat neonates have never been previously flown for spaceflight experimentation, and they present unique life support, science, and engineering challenges in the Spacelab microgravity environment. Modifications of the RAHF (with an associated comprehensive testing program, including spaceflight) are currently underway at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), in order to add to the RAHF the capability of supporting nursing dams and neonates in preparation for Neurolab.

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