NASA Life Science Data Archive (1961–)

views updated

NASA Life Science Data Archive


SITE SUMMARY: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center features here a database of documents on life science experiments involving humans, animals, and plants, in manned and unmanned space missions, conducted from 1961 to the present, and including some missions and experiments now considered historic. Note the Search Database link that leads to a page for searching Experiments, Missions, and Documents; plus Data Sets (from Life Science Experiments), Sessions (on experiments' what, where, and when), Bio-specimens (human parts that have been the subjects of research), Hardware used during experiments, and particular Personnel. Note also the Overviews link that leads to Life Sciences Research Interests links, and Historic Missions. See more links, e.g., for the Reading Room (with online documents), What's New, Photo Gallery, and Just for Fun. In the Related Internet Sites section below, see this site's Biosatellite Missions and Sitemap pages' descriptions.


  1. Click the LSDA's Search Database link, then click the Documents or Experiments link. Choose one of the Payload/Mission photo links, then search for, and choose, three particular space flights of recent times. Be sure to choose different types of flight, such as a particular shuttle flight mission, and a particular international space station mission. As you choose, select flights with different life science experiments, so one experiment involves a plant or plants, another involves an animal or animals, and the next involves a human or humans. After choosing, give the experiment's title, and some data from the experiment's description, research area, species studied, spaceflight mission name and number, scientific results, a principle investigator, and something from additional information (e.g., parameters measured, hardware items, experiment type), plus an alternate name for the experiment, and a related experiment. If possible, give a citation from a publications list, and cite one document from the Documents area after searching there. If available, also include an experiment's proposal source and date, plus sponsoring and managing institutions. (Tip: You may choose Scientific Results in the Document Type menu on the Documents page to find some data.)
  2. Click the LSDA's Search Database link, then go to the Documents page, select an experiment from the Experiment Title menu, or select an experiment from the Document Type menu; then search for, and choose, three different experiments. As you make your choices for this activity, and as you provide information for your choices, follow the "as you choose" and "after choosing" directions in Question/Activity no. 1 above. (Help hint: You may choose experiments with words including "Effect of," "Influence of," "Investigation of," or "During spaceflight.") Extra Activity: Select one thing on the Life Sciences Interests pages in the LSDA's Overviews area, and one in the Life Sciences in the NASA Subjects Index links list. (Its site url is cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.) Give information for both as directed above.
  3. Click the Search LSDA Database link, then click the Missions link. Choose the unmanned Biosatellites link. Select an experiment from the pull-down menu, then tell about the experiment's purpose, how it was to be carried out, if what was planned was achieved, and if the animals included survived. Next, go back to the Missions area and click the Cosmos-Bion Satellite link, select an experiment, and apply the activities suggested just above to it. Extra Activity One: Go to the Web sites Pioneering Efforts in Space, Space Today Online—Dogs [and Other Animals] in Space, and Animal Astronauts. (Their urls are cited in the Related Internet Sites section below). Choose one animal from each Web site, tell which spaceflight it was put on during the very early days of the space program, and describe the experiment this animal was part of. Tell if the experiment was a success, and if the animal survived. Extra Activity Two: Read the article "Laboratory Animals in Space" whose url is cited in the Related Internet Sites section below. Choose one subject the authors write about, then search for information on it at the LSDA. Compare what you find at each site, and tell how each helps you to understand the subject.
  4. Click the LSDA's Search Database link, then the link to the Hardware page. Search for and select one specially named mission from each of the following pull-down menus: Payload/Mission Participation (e.g., Spacelab Life Sciences One), Hardware Type (e.g., Test Equipment, Circadian Rhythm; Habitat Facility, Plants; Sample Collection Devices, Air/Gas), Hardware Item (e.g., Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit, Gravitational Plant Physiology Facility), and Research Area (e.g., Behavior and Performance, Chronobiology, Plant Biology, Muscle Physiology). As you make your choices, then provide information for what you chose, follow the "as you choose" and "after choosing" directions in Question/Activity no. 2 above.
  5. Click the LSDA's Search Database link, then the link to the Sessions page. Choose a Session name from the pull-down menu (e.g., Inflight Analysis of Ground-Prepared Test Samples, Internal Space Exposures, Rotating Chair), and Experiment Type. When you make your choices, then provide information for what you chose, follow the directions in Question/Activity no. 2 above for "as you choose" and "after choosing."
  6. Go to the LSDA's Historic Missions page, found as cited in the Related Internet Sites section below. Choose and describe three experiments that are now considered to be part of an historic manned mission (e.g., from one of the Mercury, Gemini, Skylab, Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, or NASA-Mir programs). Apply the "as you choose" and "after choosing" directions from Question/Activity no. 2 above.
  7. Click the LSDA's What's New link. Choose and click a link to an experiment recently done. Explain it. Include what you find in the "after choosing" directions in Question/Activity no. 2 above. Option: Try finding something on this experiment that has been reported by the news media at these Web sites: CNN—Sci/Tech, PBS Online News and Views (on Science and Technology, Earth and Space), Science News Online, New York Times on the Web (its Science and Technology sections),—Newsfiles—Science, "Spaceflight Now" at Astronomy Now Online; Sky and Telescope (its news and archives); and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Science Question of the Week. (Their urls are cited in this book's Appendix B, D, or H.)
  8. Click the LSDA's Search Database link, then the Hardware link, and select a Shuttle Student Involvement Program from the Payload/Mission Participation menu. Next, click the Experiments link, then do a Student Experiments search in the search box, and choose one experiment found during the search. For both findings, follow the "after choosing" directions in Question/Activity no. 2 above.
  9. Visit the NASA Student Flight Opportunity Web page, with information on the NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP), the NASA Shuttle Small Payload Project, and other programs and projects. (Note: the NSIP is today's version of the Shuttle Student Involvement Program referred to in Question/Activity no. 8 above.) (This Web site's url is cited in this book's Appendix G.) Imagine you have decided to think of and contribute ideas for an experiment to the NSIP or the SSPP for possible selection and inclusion in a space shuttle mission or a space station mission. Think of an idea, being sure it is a life science idea in one of the three topic areas the NASA Life Science Database Archive features. Following the NSIP or SSPP Web site's guidelines (e.g., the NSIP's Learning Goals, Designing An Experiment, Research Project Components, Judging Criteria), and the format indicated in the "after choosing" directions in Question/Activity no. 2 above for documents in the LSDA, provide details of your idea. (Suggestion: Contribute your idea as the NSIP or the SSPP instructions indicate via the Student Flight Opportunity Web site.)
  10. Visit the Astronauts Biographies Web site. (Its url is cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.) Search for, then choose, a current astronaut. Read her or his biography, noting under Spaceflight Experience a shuttle mission or a space station mission in which this astronaut has participated. Next, click the LSDA Search Database link, then the Experiments link, and select the program (e.g., shuttle or space station) in which this astronaut was involved, then find this astronaut's mission in the Mission (Payload) Menu. Choose any experiment done during that mission, and describe the experiment with details as indicated in the "after choosing" directions in Question/Activity no. 2 above. Note the featured astronaut as well as the other crew members with whom she or he worked on the mission.
  11. Find a current astronaut's biography at the Astronaut Biographies Web site referred to in Question/Activity no. 10 above. When searching, find an astronaut who has another profession. Is this other profession vital to an experiment conducted during a shuttle flight or space station mission in which this astronaut was a crew member? (Hint: mission specialists and payload specialists usually have other professions, often scientific.) Extra Activity: Find a payload specialist astronaut from a nation you claim as a place of ethnic origin. Apply instructions from Question/Activity no. 10 above to the astronaut.
  12. If possible for your computer, access the Astronaut Fact Book at the Astronaut Biographies Web site, then adapt and apply to this astronaut from the past the two activities suggested in Question/Activity no. 10 above, and while using instructions from Question/Activity no. 6 above for the LSDA's manned Historic Missions pages.



Links go to Search Database; Overviews with Research Overview, Historic Missions, Space Shuttle Missions, NASA-Mir Program, and Unmanned Missions; plus Related Links (e.g., online books, educational and research resources), What's New, Glossary, Photo Gallery, Just for Fun, and Site Tour.

Unmanned Biosatellite Programs (click Search Database link, then Missions link)

Click the link for the Cosmos-Bion Satellite Project, or the Biosatellite Program. The Cosmos-Bion Project, which lasted for nearly two decades, from 1975 through 1992, was a multinational program that was headed by the Russian Space Agency, and included the U.S., the European Space Agency, and other nations among the participants who sent animals into space as parts of experiments. The Biosatellite Program, by the United States, from 1967 through 1970, included four satellites with experimental animals.

Historic Missions at the NASA Life Sciences Data Archive

Links go to experiments on the flights for Project Mercury, 1961–1963; Project Gemini, 1964–1966; Apollo, 1967–1972; Skylab, 1973; and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, 1975.

Astronaut Biographies at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

This site includes information about types of astronauts, and links to biographies of them (e.g., career astronauts, payload specialists, active astronauts, management astronauts, and former astronauts). See the Astronaut Fact Book (in PDF format) with former astronauts' biographies. Flags of payload specialists' nations are featured beside name links.

NASA Subject Index

This access point for NASA's Internet information provides links under subjects such as Life Sciences, plus Aeronautics, Astronautics, Chemistry and Materials, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Microgravitiy, Physics, Social Sciences, Space Sciences, Standards, and General Information.

Pioneering Efforts in Space

Scroll to information on early unmanned space flights conducted by the United States Army before the formation of NASA. Note the section on "Monkey Flights."

Space Today Online—Dogs [and Other Animals] in Space

This site provide brief information on space flights by the United States, Russia, and other nations, from the 1950s through the 1998 Columbia shuttle Neurolab mission, which included dogs and other animals. There are some links to news articles, photos, and sound files.

Animal Astronauts

This site, set up by a research associate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, provides information about dogs, monkeys, and chimps, who were sent on spaceflights during the early years of the space program. The links pages features links to the U.S. Biomedical Space Research Timeline on the NASA Neurolab Web site, the New York Times newspaper articles from the early days of space exploration, Soviet Dogs in Space: Their Stories on Stamps, and books and magazines related to animals in space.

"Laboratory Animals in Space" in the Animal Welfare Information Center Newsletter (click 6n2borko.htm link)

Published in the Center's November 17, 1997 newsletter, this article, written by Gary L. Borkowski of Pennsylvania State University, and others, features information on ways animals have demonstrated that living organisms can survive in space. It has information on the space shuttle's, the international space station's, and ground control's involvement.

NASA Projects

Featuring information on NASA's programs and activities, this site has a popular projects pulldown menu, and a browse area with annotated topics links. Both lead to pages or sites with documents on the projects. Popular projects include Human Space Flight, the International Space Station, the Hubble Telescope, the Mars Pathfinder Mission, the Chandra X-Ray Obser-vatory, the Cassini Mission to Saturn, Microgravity Science and Research, Ozone Research, and the TOPEX/Poseidon Ocean Mapping. Browsing topics include Earth and Space Sciences, Biological and Physical Research, Human Exploration and Development of Space, and Aerospace Technology. See also a search box, annotated links under Related Materials on Spacelink, and Related NASA Internet Sites, and more.

National Space Science Data Center—NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

This site provides information from spaceflights on topics other than the life sciences. Note topics such as Astrophysics, Earth Science, Space and Solar Physics, Planetary and Lunar Data from Space Flight Missions. There are an archive and a data and documents dissemination area, with links to Web pages or other Web sites featuring data on science experiments in which spaceflight missions have been involved.

About this article

NASA Life Science Data Archive (1961–)

Updated About content Print Article