CU Researchers Play Big Part In Space-X Mission

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– The Space-X cargo ship has arrived at the International Space Station after a successful launch last weekend. Included on board are equipment and experiments from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

More than a dozen CU students are actively working with crew members aboard the space station on an ongoing experiment.

Space-X launch (credit: NASA)

Space-X launch (credit: NASA)

“Right now we are in the middle of an experiment called Micro 5,” said CU graduate student Kirsten Johnson.

Johnson is one of a team of students and faculty in CU’s Aerospace Engineering program working one-on-one with astronauts on board.

“We got special permission this time around to talk to the astronauts directly because of the complexity of this experiment,” said Johnson.

The experiments involve organisms called Nematode C-Elegans and infecting them with salmonella in space.

International Space Station (credit: NASA)

International Space Station (credit: NASA)

“A lot of organisms act differently when they are in a micro gravity environment,” said Johnson.

The experiment may someday lead to a new way to treat or even vaccinate against the illness.

Johnson will soon be working for NASA on new space suit technology.

“Hopefully for a Mars mission but we will see where they go but it’s new up-and-coming technology, which is great,” said Johnson.

The program is part of Bioserve Space Technologies which is headquartered in CU’s Aerospace Engineering Science Department.

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