Headlines > News > Astronauts Welcome Super Bowl Fans and Explore Gut Microbes

Astronauts Welcome Super Bowl Fans and Explore Gut Microbes

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Feb 1, 2017 9:09 pm via: NASA
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A pair of NASA astronauts on the International Space Station called down to Houston today as the city gets ready to host Super Bowl LI on Sunday. Johnson Space Center officials, media and visitors gathered at Space Center Houston to hear Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson and Commander Shane Kimbrough welcome everyone as NASA participates in Super Bowl festivities this week.

As NASA and the city of Houston welcome football fans, the Expedition 50 crew aboard the International Space Station continued advanced space research to benefit humans on Earth and in space.

The astronauts explored how the immune system adapts in outer space by collecting their biological samples for the Multi-Omics study. The experiment, which began in March 2015 when the One-Year mission began, is researching gut microbes and metabolism to determine how living in space affects the human immune function.

Scientists and engineers are using the station as a platform to explore technologies for removing space debris from Earth orbit and returning samples from planetary surfaces. The crew members set up tiny internal multi-use satellites known as SPHERES to demonstrate capturing a space object and tugging it. Researchers are testing software to improve computer models to make space safer from space junk and improve planetary science.

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