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Dr. Francine Garrett-Bakelman arrived at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the middle of the night, ready to get her hands on Scott Kelly’s blood.

She watched on a laptop as the astronaut stepped off a plane March 2 about 1:30 a.m., back in Houston after his record 340 days aboard the International Space Station. Then, in a nearby molecular biology lab, she set the centrifuge to the right temperature and looked over her pre-labeled test tubes.

Within an hour, a NASA staffer brought in two samples — one drawn just minutes before, and the other taken during Kelly’s final hours in orbit.

The physician-scientist shifted into high gear: Blood doesn’t keep forever, and every minute counts. So does every drop — these tiny samples had to be split among several research groups.

… Read More

See Also – Health Standards for Long Duration and Exploration Spaceflight: Ethics Principles, Responsibilities, and Decision Framework (2014). Jeffrey Kahn, Catharyn T. Liverman, and Margaret A. McCoy, Editors; Committee on Ethics Principles and Guidelines for Health Standards for Long Duration and Exploration Spaceflights; Board on Health Sciences Policy; Institute of Medicine

 

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