Fruit Fly Lab
The common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is an important animal model for the human immune system, making it a useful model for studying the biological effects of spaceflight. Spaceflight affects the innate immune system, which could make animals including humans more susceptible to disease, especially because microbes can become more virulent in space. The NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) ISS Drosophila Experiment (Fruit Fly Lab-01) studies the combined effect of altered host immunity with changes to microbes in space.
The investigation of interactions between the host and bacteria, conserved cellular responses, and countermeasure efficacy during spaceflight using the human surrogate model Caenorhabditis elegans (Micro-5) aims to better understand the risks of in-flight infections in space explorers during long-term space flight, using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworm) with the microbe Salmonella typhimurium (that causes food poisoning in humans).
ISS Microbial Observatory (Microbial Tracking-1)
A three-part investigation that seeks to characterize airborne and surface-associated populations of microorganisms aboard the International Space Station. Conducting three separate sampling missions will allow the investigators to assess how the microbial communities aboard the station change over time. The three parts of the investigation are planned to fly to the station aboard SpaceX-5, SpaceX-6, and SpaceX-7.