Mammalian Reproduction and Development on the International Space Station (ISS): Proceedings of the Rodent Mark III Habitat Workshop

April E Ronca, Joshua S Alwood, Ruth K Globus, Kenneth A Souza

Abstract


The Mark III Rodent Habitat Workshop was held at NASA Ames Research Center on March 21-22, 2013 to prepare top-level science requirements for developing a habitat to support studies of mammalian reproduction and development on the International Space Station (ISS). This timely workshop assembled a diverse team with expertise in reproductive and developmental biology, behavior, space biosciences, habitat development, physiology, mouse genetics, veterinary medicine, rodent husbandry, flight hardware development (rodent), and spaceflight operations. Participants received overview presentations from each discipline, discussed concerns, potential risks, and risk mitigations corresponding to distinctive reproductive and developmental phases, and reviewed specific examples of research within the major space bioscience disciplines requiring a Mark III habitat to achieve their objectives. In this review, we present the workshop materials and products, and summarize major recommendations for defining the requirements envelope for the NASA Rodent Habitat (RH) Mark III. Development of this habitat will permit the first long duration studies of mammalian reproduction and development in space, within and across generations.

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