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Bone Maturation in Rats Flown on the Spacelab-3 Mission (SL3 BSP14)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Skeletal physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Sprague-Dawley


Work on the non-weight bearing mandibles of rats flown in the Cosmos 1129 mission showed that there was a gravity component to skeletal maturation. The alterations seen in total calcium, phosphorus and matrix hydroxyproline suggest that microgravity interferes with the formation of the collagen fiber cross linkages which provide nucleation sites for bone apatite nucleation and crystal growth. This study was to determine whether altered matrix-mineral maturational patterns during space flight are also found in elements of the weight bearing skeleton.

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Russell JE, Simmons DJ. Bone Maturation in Rats Flown on the Spacelab-3 mission. Abstract S-235. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting on the IUPS Commission on Gravitational Physiology; 1985 Oct 13-18; Niagara Falls(NY)

Russell JE, Simmons DJ. Bone Maturation in Rats Flown on the Spacelab-3 Mission. Physiologist 1985; 28(6 Suppl):S235-S236.

Russell JE, Webber J, Simmons DJ. Bone Maturation in Rats Flown on the Spacelab-3 mission. Abstract 83.31.36th Annual Fall Meeting of the American Physiological Society; 1985 Oct 13-18; Buffalo (NY) Physiologist 1985; 28(4):380.

Simmons DJ, et al. Bone Maturation and Quality of Bone Material in Rats Flown on the Space Shuttle Spacelab-3 Mission; Bone and Mineral 1986; 1(6):485-93.

Bone and bones
Bone mineralization
Bone matrix

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Content, Calcium, femur, bone, rat, Automated analyzer
Temperature, RAHF data, SL-3, (quads 1-4, TEU air in/out, TEU coolant in/out), Recorder, downlink (1/sec)

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-51B 04/29/1985 05/06/1985 7 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Ames Research Center LSDA Level 3
Project Manager: Sylvain Costes
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Protocol / Approach
Simulated flight control
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