Skip to page content Mission Information


Cell Signaling Molecules of Human Skeletal Muscle Maintained by Exercise Countermeasure in Spaceflight (Muscle_Biopsy)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Muscle physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Skeletal muscle functions are based on cellular signaling mechanisms, which undergo considerable changes due to muscle activity or inactivity on Earth. Nitric Oxide (NO) generated by NO-synthase (NOS) are unique signaling molecules mediating basic physiological muscle functions including micro-perfusion capacity, soreness and muscle force generation capacity in a given muscle. Homer proteins located at the nerve-muscle interface will also be studied as indicator of neural functions.

From previous bed-rest and flight studies with rodents, it is known that countermeasures such as exercise, lower-body negative pressure and muscle vibrations influence muscle atrophy and can restore NOS/NO signaling and the level of Homer proteins at the neuromuscular junction. Thus, both can function as biomarker for testing the efficiency of countermeasure protocols to maintain human skeletal muscle during space flight.

It is proposed to collect muscle tissue samples from astronauts flying to the International Space Station before and after their mission, and do a full analysis of the tissue on both the morphological/mechanical as well as on the molecular/biochemical level.

++ -- View more

Muscle fatigue

Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

Fiber size
Fiber type
NOS associated molecules (CAPON and PIN)
NOS1,-2,-3 gene analysis
++ -- View more

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 46 12/11/2015 03/02/2016 82 days
Expedition 47 03/02/2016 06/18/2016 108 days
Expedition 48 06/18/2016 09/06/2016 80 days
Expedition 49 09/06/2016 10/30/2016 54 days
Expedition 50 10/28/2016 04/09/2017 164 days
Expedition 51 04/09/2017 06/02/2017 55 days
Expedition 52 06/02/2017 09/02/2017 92 days
Expedition 53 09/02/2017 12/14/2017 102 days
Expedition 54 12/14/2017 02/27/2018 75 days
Expedition 58 12/18/2018 03/14/2019 85 days
Expedition 59 03/14/2019 06/24/2019 102 days
Expedition 60 06/24/2019 10/03/2019 101 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
European Space Agency (ESA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source