Archive for the 'Space Medicine' Category

On this very special episode of Talking Space, with a new crew onboard the International Space Station, we go to Washington DC for the 2017 International Space Station Research and Development Conference, or ISSRDC. We learn all about the science happening on station, the future of the ISS, a look at the commercial partners, and some other topics you might not know had to do with ISS. We begin by talking with NASA astronaut and molecular biologist Dr. Kate Rubins about her time on station and her groundbreaking research on decoding genes in space. We also talk with the Principal Investigator for that project, Dr. Sarah Wallace, on what being able to work with DNA in space means for future space flight as well as right back here on Earth. Next, we listen in as students got to talk live with astronaut Jack Fischer onboard the ISS through ham radio and ARISS. Next, after our discussion last week about the merits of the National Space Council returning, we talk with a former member of the council, Courtney Stadd. Finally we take a look at Elon Musk's lunch keynote address and some major announcements regarding Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and future Mars exploration.

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Show recorded 7-25-2017

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelist: Gene Mikulka with special guest interviews with Dr. Kate Rubins, Dr. Sarah Wallace, Courtney Stadd and quotes from Elon Musk

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On this episode of Talking Space we talk with Liz Warren, Ph.D. from NASA ISS Program Science Office Communications Integration at Johnson Space Center.

We learn about the upcoming Orbital Sciences CRS cargo launch and experiments (some from students) it will take to the ISS. We also hear about some of the effects of microgravity on the human body.  Liz says we need to keep our people healthy in space and learning how to do that has brought home some very valuable science that applies to life here on earth too.

Some experiments have an educational component to them like the NanoRacks-NCESSE-Falcon Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. With 17 experiments involving thousands of students on the ground. This is the 5th opportunity the student spaceflight program has participated in. Some of their experiments investigate fungal growth, antibiotic efficiency, seed germination, bacterial growth and space radiation. Did you know that bacteria grow faster in microgravity? Having a space station to fly to makes science experiments like we’ve been talking about possible by students in grades 5-12. Pretty incredible!

We learn that it is rather fun to train astronauts. Liz describes them as overachievers, wanting not just to do their best but to do a job better than the next guy. The astronauts want to get really good results for the Principal Investigators. From research in space there have been changes in Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamins by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that affect bone loss. There are medications now on the market from research in space that can help patients affected by bone loss due to chemotherapy.

While we were talking about the ISS, gravity came up. The Hollywood movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney named “Gravity” that is. So do you think science fiction has a place in our discussion about ISS science?

Please watch and share this video Liz spoke of. The stories told will touch, inspire and change how you look at the ISS and research done there. Please, please, please share this video. We’ve only begun to see the International Space Station’s “Benefits For Humanity”.

Benefits For Humanity: In Their Own Words

NASA ISS Program Science Office web page -

Phone (281) 244-6187 email

Host this week: Mark Ratterman. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Emily Carney.

Special Guest: Liz Warren, Ph.D. ISS Program Science Office

Show Recorded 12/15/2013

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On this episode of Talking Space we discuss ATV4 (named Albert Einstein) which departed the ISS on 28 October. Burning up on re-entry is only part of the final objectives to be met by this cargo carrier launched by ESA on 5 June 2013. Sawyer has a Washington Post story about research and papers published by the Principal Investigators indicating the real prominence of the research done at our International Space Station.
Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser ETA (Engineering Test Article) flips while landing during its maiden free flight drop test. Gene talks about this the rest of the otherwise successful test flight. The NASA Orion capsule has been powered on for the first time continuing to prepare for Exploration Flight Test-1 mission targeted to launch in 1 year.
SpaceX works toward a summer 2014 test of the SuperDraco launch escape system from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 73 seconds into its flight. NASA Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD) completes first test laser data communication link via earth ground stations to the LADEE spacecraft in orbit around the moon.

"Defending Earth from Asteroids" gets our attention thanks to Neil deGrasse Tyson and a panel of 5 Astronauts.
Gene hits the highlights of this American Museum of Natural History and Association of Space Explorers (ASE) co-hosted event. In addition to moderator Neil Tyson were 5 former Astronauts: Tom Jones, Rusty Schweickart, Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, Ed Lu and Soichi Noguchi. To see the video of this presentation follow this B612 Foundation link

A cartoon in a national newspaper compares the Affordable Care Act launch to loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger. We call it beyond distasteful, wrong and hope you'll read an article by Emily Carney from SpaceFlight Insider to hear her reactions,

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

Show Recorded 10/28/2013

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On this episode of Talking Space we talk with Carl Carruthers about how to get your science project on the International Space Station. Starting in 1998 Carl has navigated the complex process to have his research fly in space. Now he wants to share how much easier it is with resources currently available through NASA, CASIS, Implementation Partners and others. Download this show to keep as a resource for the day when someone says "I wish I could get my experiment in orbit".

We hear about several previous of Carl's previous projects that flew on shuttle and his upcoming project that will fly to the ISS via SpaceX Dragon capsule early in 2013. We also talk about crew health in space & early detection of osteoporosis (EDOS)

Carl mentions searching for more information about bisphosphonates in microgravity - so go ahead and search that term and learn more. Check out the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education at

For information about the Space Florida ISS Research Competition and the workshop on Oct 5 that Carl will speak at go to

Carl's great writeup titled "How Can I Get My Science Project on the International Space Station" with all the links  is at on Twitter follow him at

Host this week: Mark Ratterman, Panel Member: Gene Mikulka with Special Guest Carl Carruthers

Show Recorded - 09/26/2012

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On this special episode, we interview the Associate Program Scientist for the International Space Station, Dr. Tara Ruttley. Tara was the Lead Hardware Engineer for the Health Maintenance System on the station until about two years ago when she acquired her current title. Dr. Ruttley discusses with us a couple of the experiments being performed onboard the ISS and some of the intricacies, concerns, and fun facts about them. We talk about her background on getting involved and her interest in biology. We then discuss with her on NEEMO-6, a NASA mission (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) which simulated time onboard the ISS, although underwater. We discuss schedules, aquanauts, and men who don't sound like men underwater. This is an episode not to be missed!

For more information on what's going on with science on the ISS, check out:

NASA's Site for ISS Research:

NASA's ISS Research Twitter account: @ISS_Research

For the ISS research blog which Tara is an author for, check out A Lab Aloft at:

To follow Tara on her personal Twitter account, give her a follow at @SpaceMama

Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein. Panel Members: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, and special guest Associate Program Scientist for the International Space Station Dr. Tara Ruttley

Show Recorded - 6/5/2011

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On this episode of Talking Space, Mark Ratterman interviews 3 NASA Astronauts + 1 NASA JSC Scientist. Interviews were on  April 27th and 29th, 2011 prior to the launch attempt for STS-134 on April 29th. Interviews were at the NASA KSC Press Site. Gene Mikulka contributed most of the questions Mark asked the Astronauts, Mark also ad-libbed a few during the recorded conversations. Thank you Gene, great job!

A sincere Thank You to NASA, the KSC Media Services Staff and our Guests:

NASA Astronaut - Dr. Michael Barratt - ISS Expedition 19/20 via Soyuz TMA-14, STS-133

NASA Astronaut - Steven Swanson - STS-117, STS-119

NASA Astronaut - Dr. Michael Foale - STS-45, STS-63, MIR 23 via STS-84/STS-86, STS-103, ISS Expedition 8 via Soyuz TMA-3

NASA JSC ISS Associate Program Scientist - Dr. Tara Ruttley

Sit back, listen, enjoy, then a pop quiz - Does 3 + 1=WOW?

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