The Artemis 1 mission, scheduled for launch by NASA on 29 August, involves not only the delivery of the Orion capsule to the Moon, but also 10 small cubes, including the development of the BioSentinel project, the first long-term biological experiment in deep space, which has never been done before.
Before that, biological experiments in space were repeated, but all of them were limited to an imaginary sphere, including the Earth and the Moon, and it is expected that a small cube satellite with yeast cells on board will reach the heliocentric orbit, about the same Earth itself, after which scientists will begin to study the effects of space radiation on yeasts.
According to a representative of the NASA-sponsored BioSentinel project, the latter is the first of its kind to allow living organisms to go further into space than ever in history.
As reported by the Space.com portal, with reference to NASA comments, space radiation appears when atoms travel so quickly, they "lost" electrons. Bombing with such particles is extremely harmful to living organisms, but in normal humans and other life on Earth protects the planet's magnetic field. Since yeast cells function on about the same principles as human cells, including DNA, they are excellent for assessing the effects of space radiation in deep space, and the experiment will suggest what can happen to humans during a long flight.
The yeast cells will begin to travel in a dry environment on small cards aboard the cube. During their flight to the Moon, BioSentinel will, at a certain stage, leave the company of its "accompanies" and enter the heliocentric orbit. Outside the magnetic field of the Earth, mission personnel will be able to "activate" yeasts in some way and then begin a journey of 12 months.
BioSentinel duplicates two other similar experiments, one on board ISS and another on Earth. By comparing the data received, scientists can compare the effects of space radiation on Earth, in low-Earth orbit and deep space. It is expected that this will provide invaluable information for further manned travel to Mars and even beyond.