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Effects of Weightlessness on Body Composition in the Rat (COS 1129-17)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Metabolism and nutrition
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Wistar


While organisms have evolved defenses against changes in temperature, altitude, osmotic pressure, etc., they have had no need or opportunity to evolve defenses against changes in the chronic acceleration field ( G, gravity). Thus, it comes as no surprise that G perturbs body composition to a degree not seen with changes in most other environmental factors. As weightlessness represents a virtual extinction of the acceleration field, it is of basic physiological interest and has obvious applicability to space medicine. This study sought to characterize the body composition responses of the adult rat to weightlessness of 18.5 days duration.

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Pace, N. et al.: Methodology for Estimation of Total Body Composition in Laboratory Mammals. NASA CR-162806, 1979.

Pitts, G.C. et al.: Effects of Weightlessness on Body Composition in the Rat. American Journal of Physiology, vol. 244, 1983, pp. R332-R337.

Ushakov, R.S. et al.: Body Composition of Rats Flown Aboard Cosmos-1129. Physiologist, supl., vol. 23, 1980, pp. S41-S44.

Ushakov, R.S. et al.: Effects of Weightlessness on Body Composition in the Rat. Final Reports of U.S. Rat Experiments Flown on the Soviet Satellite Cosmos 1129. M.R. Heinrich and K.A. Souza, eds., NASA TM-81289, 1981, pp. 415-426.

Body composition
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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.

Composition, Body, whole, rat, Various
Composition, Diet, rat, Cosmos
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Cosmos 1129 09/25/1979 10/14/1979 19 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)
Alternate Experiment Name
Protocol / Approach
Hardware Items