Space biology

Space biology - the branch of biology that studies the peculiarities of existence of living organisms in extraterrestrial environments, the impact of cosmic factors and the possibility of existence of life on other planets.
The emergence and development of space biology is connected with the achievements of modern science and rocket technology, which allowed to fly beyond the earth's atmosphere.
Space biology develops research methods and means supporting life of humans and animals in the conditions of space flight, when a living organism can influence of different factors. First of all it ionizing radiation (see Cosmic radiation), acceleration and gravity, and prolonged isolation in conditions of movement restrictions, artificial atmosphere, some features food, etc. the impact of these factors on humans, animals and plants is studied in laboratory conditions, simulating certain factors of a space flight or flights on artificial Earth satellites and spacecraft, managed directly by man.
When solving the problem of existence of life on other planets, we study the natural conditions of these planets, the analysis of the composition of meteorites in comparison with the forms of life on Earth in different climatic conditions (Arctic, Antarctic, mountains, deserts, and other).
As objects of research using animals (monkeys, dogs, mice, Guinea pigs), insects (flies, fruit flies and other), plants (unicellular algae Chlorella; seeds of wheat, peas, onion and others).
Animal studies, committed flights on various aircraft (including missiles), gave scientific proof flying people into space.
In the process of biomedical research to study the functional systems of the body (cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and other), describing its overall condition, the limits of tolerance of harmful factors; conduct a study of the protective functions of the organism, the biochemical analysis of blood, urine, blood condition of the functions of cytological and histological methods. On the plants and the Drosophila conduct genetic research of the processes of transmission of hereditary traits, reproduction and growth under influence of space flight factors.
In research on space biology widely used modern methods and equipment. So, for study and monitoring of various functional systems used electrophysiological equipment (EEG, ECG, biography and others); to measure the physical and physiological parameters characterizing the state of the object of research, and conditions of habitat directly in flight,- telemetry methods, TV, allowing to observe the object in the distance, computing machines, enabling timely and accurately process the information necessary to monitor the state of a living object in the cockpit of a spaceship.
The findings about the effect of individual factors of space flight on living organisms given the opportunity to develop protective measures for safety of the person in space - pressurized cabins, clothes, means of protection from ionizing radiation and other (see Space medicine).
Large and very complex problem of space biology is to develop means of ensuring normal vital activity of man in flight into space. The choice of an appropriate system of life support of the astronaut is determined by the duration space flight. So, for a flight lasting only a few days is applied life-support system, based on the use taken from the Earth stocks of food, water and oxygen or high performance chemicals that absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
In long-term missions to other planets of the solar system when inventory, taken from the Earth, will not be able to provide astronauts will be more complex life support system, based on the biological circulation of substances in the cabin. In this regard, conducted experimental work on substantiation of principles and methods of ensuring the necessary conditions for human life in the cockpit of a spaceship.
To provide astronauts with air use of physical or physico-chemical methods of regeneration gas environment cabins, i.e. transformation of used air in the air, breathable, with a slight addition of fresh, pregenerating air from stocks, taken from the Earth.
The system of water supply is designed to recover water from human waste (exhaled air, sweat, urine). With the help of distillation, electro-osmosis, cleaning, ion exchange resins and so on, you can get the water, suitable for drink.
To provide astronauts with necessary nutrients create biological community: plant - animal - man. The ship can be used algae (such as Chlorella), garden culture, zoo - and phytoplankton, fish, poultry, rabbits, etc., the Creation of such systems is a necessary condition for manned missions to other planets of the solar system.
In General scientific achievements of space biology has had a great influence on the development of General biology, contributed to the success of space medicine in solution of tasks for provision of space flights.