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NASA to conduct unprecedented twin experiment

RATE THIS! +27
Posted in Science on 16th Apr, 2014 04:10 AM by AlexMuller

Consider a pair of brothers, identical twins. One gets a job as an astronaut and rockets into space. The other gets a job as an astronaut, too, but on this occasion he decides to stay home. After a year in space, the traveling twin returns home and they reunite. Are the identical twins still identical? NASA is about to find out.

 

In March of 2015, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will join cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko on a one-year mission to the International Space Station. Their lengthy stay aims to explore the effects of long-term space flight on the human body.

 
The interesting thing about Scott is, he's a twin. His brother Mark is also an astronaut, now retired. While Scott, the test subject, spends one year circling Earth at 17,000 mph, Mark will remain behind as a control.
 
"We will be taking samples and making measurements of the twins before, during, and after the one-year mission," says Craig Kundrot of NASA's Human Research Program at the Johnson Space Center. "For the first time, we'll be able two individuals who are genetically identical."
 
The experiment harkens back to Einstein's "Twin Paradox," a thought experiment in which one twin rockets to the stars at high speed while the other stays home. According to Einstein's theory of relativity, the traveling twin should return younger than his brother, strange but true.

Tags: NASAspacetwinexperimentastronaut

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-16
+1
Interesting. Twins are often used in medical research and indeed this is the best control for the genetic background - however using just one pair would be a big limitation for any statics
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-16
+2
I think that it is remarkable that they have this one pair of twins. It is a difficult request- as they need astronauts. I think they could learn a great deal, even if it is just these two twin brothers. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-16
+2
This is going to be very interesting, comprehensive and unique study. NASA's Human Research Program recently announced the selection of 10 research proposals to study the twins' genetics, biochemistry, vision, cognition and much more.
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-16
+0
NASA also pointed out that the real power comes of these projects is in combining them to form an integrated picture of all levels from biomolecular to psychological. "We'll be studying the entire astronaut" Reply
Reply


 

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