For many years, SCK•CEN performs space research and sends experiments in space on a regular basis. Various projects will be realised this fall. At the end of November 2017, the first bioreactor of SCK•CEN was sent to the International Space Station (ISS). In December 2017, Sarah Baatout, head of the research unit Radiobiology of SCK•CEN, travelled to the Prinses Elisabeth station. There, she studied the impact of extreme living conditions (isolation, stress, seclusion,…) on the human immune system, as well as the properties of spirulina as food supplement for astronauts.
The daily acquired knowledge was shared to students of different Belgian schools via Skype. Read more about our adventurous scientist Sarah Baatout and follow Sarah's journey before, during and after her mission on Antarctica on the Facebook webpage.
The IMAgE experiment investigates the impact of extreme environments on the human body, with emphasis on the immune system.
Various samples (blood, saliva, urine and feces) are taken before, during and after the stay on the Prinsess Elisabeth station in Antarctica. These samples will be analysed on the station and at SCK•CEN. The analysis will result in valuable information on, e.g. the stress level of the volunteers and the effect of the environment on their immune system. More information is available in our SCK•CEN brochure on space research
Spirulina, the superbacteria
Spirulina will be examined on Antarctica in extreme conditions as a food supplement. More specifically, it is tested if spirulina can restore the negative effect of stress in the intestinal flora. More info about the use of bacteria during long term space travel.
Dosimeters are sent to the research station to measure the individual exposure to radiation inside and outside of the station. Read more about space dosimetry at the SCK•CEN Science Platform.