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Otoconial Morphology in Space-Flown Rats (SL3 BSP19)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Sprague-Dawley


Weightlessness imposes a new bias against which translational accelerations must be judged. One question to be answered by space flight is whether gravity receptors will show degenerative changes during short- or long-term exposures to microgravity. The ultrastructural study of inner ears obtained from space-flown rats and from age-matched, ground-based controls is a first step in attempting to answer this question. This study was to determine whether the system adjusts to this change in bias induced by exposure to microgravity by undergoing visible alteration or degeneration, or more subtle adaptive processes.

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Ross MD, Donovan K, Chee O. Otoconial Morphology in Spaceflown Rats. Abstract 83.20. 36th Annual Fall Meeting of the American Physiological Society; 1985 Oct 13-18; Buffalo (NY) Physiologist 1985; 28(4):378.

Ross MD, Donovan K, Chee O. Otoconial Morphology in Spaceflown Rats. Physiologist 1985; 28(6 Suppl):S219-20.

Ross MD, et al. Otoconial Morphology in Spaceflown Rats. Abstract S-219. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting on the IUPS Commission on Gravitational Physiology; 1985 Oct 13-18; Niagara Falls(NY).

Ross MD. Implications of Otoconial Changes in Microgravity. Physiologist 1987; 30(1):S90-3.

Otolithic membrane
Macula lutea

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.

Morphology, ultrastructure, Gravireceptors, macula, inner ear, rat, Scanning electron microscope
Morphology, ultrastructure, Gravireceptors, otoconial complex, inner ear, rat, Scanning electron microscope

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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