NASA Astronaut, NIH Officials Discuss Medical Research Being Done on Space Station NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins and National Institute of Arthirtis and Musculskeletal and Skin Diseases recently met at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD to discuss the importance of medical research being conducted on the International Space Station. Hopkins served as a flight engineer aboard the space station from Sept. 25, 2013, where he and his fellow crew members performed hundreds of experiments involving implications for health and medicine both in outer space as well as here on Earth during Expeditions 37 & 38. In addition, Hopkins spent nearly 13 hours outside the station during two space walks on his first mission there.
Among the most recent research being conducted jointly by the NIH and NASA have included how human immune systems are altered in space, as well as T-cell activation in aging, as well as how microgravity environments affect the body, including bone loss. Not only are these projects vital in determining the viability of space travel to Mars and beyond in the future, but also play an important part in combating terrestrial cancers.