What We Learned from the Space Station this Past Year

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — As the International Space Station enters its third decade of continuous human presence, the impact of microgravity research conducted there keeps growing. The months between Nov. 2020 and Nov. 2021 saw publication of more than 400 scientific papers based on studies aboard the orbiting lab.

Here are some highlights of recent results from groundbreaking space station science:

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Astronomical Bone Loss Recorded From Space Travel

The mission patch for the TBone project. Photo was taken by Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques during his mission aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

UCalgary TBone study reveals impacts of pre-flight and in-flight exercise on bone loss.

by Kirstyn MacGillivary
McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health
University of Calgary

CALGARY, Alb. — Escaping the Earth’s orbit and floating through space for a six-month mission results in an average bone loss equating to nearly two decades of bone loss on earth. That means a 40-year old astronaut returns to Earth with a 60-year old skeleton.

Findings from the TBone study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, reveal that bone loss progresses with the length of a space mission despite daily exercise programs designed to prevent bone loss.

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