The animals will be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, most likely on June 3, according to the Daily Mail, citing NASA. Other payloads will also be delivered to the ISS, in particular chips, using which astronauts will study the effects of microgravity on plants and the formation of kidney stones.
The Hawaiian short-tailed squid (Euprymna scolopes) will participate in research that will show the effects of space flight on the molecular and chemical interactions between beneficial microbes and their host animals. The experiment should help come up with new ways to keep astronauts healthy on long missions. The hero of the study, the Hawaiian short-tailed squid, is known for pretending to be the reflection of the moon in the water during the night hunting. He succeeds in this thanks to luminescent bacteria that live in a special light organ and help their owner not only to seek food, but also to maintain some vital functions.
In addition, the crew members of the ISS will study another notable animal, the tardigrade, to identify genes that ensure survival in stressful environments. Tardigrades, also known as tardigrades, are known as the most tenacious animal on Earth. It is almost impossible to kill them - the tardigrade can be frozen, boiled, crushed, irradiated, and still it will survive. Having identified the capabilities of tardigrades that contribute to this, NASA scientists hope to adapt them to protect people.
Kidney stones are a disease that often affects astronauts: more than 30 space mission participants have complained about their appearance after the flight. To better understand what causes the formation of stones, chips are sent to the ISS with 3D models of kidney cells: astronauts will track their changes in microgravity.
Finally, among the payloads, cotton is a plant that has a gene that allows it to thrive during droughts and other stressful conditions. Scientists intend to investigate how the expression of cotton genes can be changed in order to grow a good harvest with a minimum of watering and pesticides.