ASGSB 2003 Annual Meeting Abstracts
DEVELOPMENT OF AQUATIC HABITAT FOR BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN SPACE.
W. Nishikawa,1 T. Ochiai,1 N. Ishioka,1 and
Space Development Agency of Japan, and 2Mitsubishi Heavy
Small fish and
amphibians become valuable experimental animals in biological and medical
sciences. Embryos are easy to manipulate and observe, and they posses full
basic vertebrate features. Reproductive efficiency and short life cycle are
also advantageous. Furthermore, small aquatic animals are less demanding in
space experiments than rodents. We already established a system for fish
spawning and flew on STS-65.
We are now
studying the next-generation aquatic animal experiment facility (AQH) for both
Space Shuttle and Space Station use.
The AQH will be
capable of supporting 90-day experiments by life-support, breeding, specimen
monitoring, and specimen sampling capability. The AQH will accommodate three
generations of medaka, zebrafish and maintain Xenopus from egg through
metamorphosis. We developed the Bread Board Model (BBM) and perform the
compatibility test by medaka.
introduce the concept of the AQH, the BBM, and the results of breeding tests
with medaka using a prototype breeding system. The system includes a closed
water loop, pumps, two 700ml fish tanks with LED lightings, an artificial lung
and a nitrification bacteria filter. Medaka and zebrafish were able to mate
and spawn in this small breeding system, and young fish could grow to adult
fish. These results suggested the potential of small fish for
multigenerational experiments in space. Xenopus laevis breeding test with
partially open air system will be also introduced. They grew and completed
metamorphosis in the small closed chamber.
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