Saudi astronauts to conduct cloud-seeding experiments in area

Two Saudi astronauts who’re heading to the Worldwide House Station will perform 11 science experiments, together with a examine of cloud seeding in microgravity.

Ali Alqarni, Rayyanah Barnawi and their two American colleagues are scheduled to launch from the Kennedy House Centre in Florida on Might 12 for a 10-day mission.

They’re a part of the Axiom-2 mission by Axiom House, the second privately led journey to the orbiting laboratory by the Houston-based firm.

The journey for Saudi Arabia comes practically 40 years after the dominion despatched its first astronaut to area.

Cloud seeding analysis in area

One of many experiments they are going to perform is to check cloud-seeding methods in a response chamber.

Cloud seeding on Earth entails firing silver iodide, or salt crystals, into sure sorts of clouds, serving to to generate rain.

“Cloud seeding has been adopted by many nations to extend precipitation in areas affected by drought,” Axiom House stated in an announcement.

“On this experiment, cloud seeding can be examined for the primary time in area beneath microgravity situations.

“Moist air and AgI [silver iodide] crystals can be combined in a response chamber to look at the potential for nucleation, the place water vapour condenses on AgI crystals to kind water droplets.

“The end result of this experiment will assist develop climate management expertise to generate synthetic rain in future human settlements on the Moon and Mars.”

Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd College of Petroleum and Minerals is sending the experiment with the assistance of the Saudi House Fee and Nanoracks, a US firm that helps its clients launch experiments and expertise to area.

The UAE is at present main the way in which in cloud-seeding efforts within the Center East, together with common seeding flights and analysis.

In 2022, the Emirates performed 311 cloud-seeding missions, clocking up near 1,000 flying hours.

Whereas cloud seeding might assist with the Center East’s water safety, related methods might assist future explorers create water on different planets.

As area companies and corporations plan to construct settlements on the Moon and Mars, it has turning into more and more essential for scientists to create methods for astronauts to construct their very own sources.

Water is heavy and it will be difficult for rocket firms to ship giant quantities to area.

Learning immune cells

The Saudi astronauts may even perform an experiment for the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Analysis Centre.

It entails finding out the inflammatory response of human immune cells in microgravity.

They’ll examine adjustments within the mRNA – a genetic materials that tells the physique the best way to make proteins.

“The crew will take RNA samples for evaluation on the bottom, the place the investigators will monitor RNA expression patterns, and hundreds of mRNA half-lives can be measured,” Axiom House stated.

“Outcomes might contribute to a greater understanding of area well being and uncover biomarkers or potential therapies for inflammatory ailments in area and on Earth.”

Getting pupils concerned

Faculty pupils and college college students may even participate in analysis, together with finding out the variations in fluid behaviour on Earth and in microgravity.

They are going to be supplied with floor kits by DreamUp, an organization that creates low-cost entry to area analysis for younger folks.

“The Stem-focused experiments are performed in microgravity to teach college students on the distinctive setting of the House Station,” Axiom House stated.

“These three visible experiments will reveal variations in fluid behaviour on Earth and in microgravity, discover the aerodynamic behaviour of various kite shapes on the ISS, and present the results of the vacuum of area on warmth switch.

“College students throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will take part in ground-based experiments on Earth.”

Up to date: March 22, 2023, 11:12 AM

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