Experiments in the Columbus Laboratory
The human body, well adapted to Earth gravity, is responding in a number of manners to the near-zero gravity in the space station: Fluids are shifting, muscles are being used less, metabolism is changing, and secondary and tertiary effects are arising. Scientific research on this aspect is still at an early stage: Human spaceflight is only a few decades old, and the number of people in zero gravity is relatively small. Therefore, it is difficult to conduct well-founded studies in this area.
That is why the European Physiology Module (EPM) is dedicated to this research area. It provides researchers with an ECG, as well as a brain flow meter with data that can be viewed in real-time on the ground. These two devices, often used in combination with the instruments in the two HRF racks, can provide valuable information about what is going on in the astronauts’ bodies. Equipment for a wide variety of sampling, whether urine, blood or saliva, is also available in EPM’s storage room.