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Sweden to blast fresh blood into space

Sweden to blast fresh blood into space

Published: 11 Feb 2012 09:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Feb 2012 09:45 GMT+01:00

A rocket carrying newly drawn blood is to be sent into space from the Esrange space centre in Kiruna, in the far north of Sweden.

The object of the mission is to study how white blood cells respond in zero gravity.

"This is a fairly complex experiment," said Anne Ytterskog, information officer of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), to the TT news agency.

SSC hopes the experiment will help scientists understand why the human immune system is weakened by space travel.

This experiment is one of several set to be launched in a Maser rocket from the Esrange centre in the coming days.

The twelve-metre long rocket will carry the experiments to the dizzying height of 250 kilometres, allowing them to experience weightlessness for six minutes.

The experiments will then be parachuted back down to earth.

To ensure that the blood sent into space is as fresh as can be, blood donors are on location in Kiruna as the time for take-off approaches.

Provided weather conditions are favourable, the blood-filled rocket will be launched sometime on Saturday.

Astronaut Christer Fuglesang visited the Esrange space centre during the final preparations for the launch, wrote SSC in a statement. Fuglesang is the only Swede to date to have travelled in space.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:30 February 11, 2012 by jostein
Reading about science always give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Thank you for this article. And the intriguing headline.
13:57 February 11, 2012 by Abe L
Seems like an awful amount of tax money spend on research with a very small scope. There isn't really that much space travel going on, let alone by Swedes. Why is the Swedish citizen paying for this nonsense?
15:21 February 11, 2012 by BillyB
What is the point??? surely there are more pressing issues to tackle...
17:28 February 11, 2012 by glenquagmaire
that is wrong..... space vampires and zombies will get a taste and will start attacking from Monday....to be safe, I would start carrying... garlic... and silver bullets and be on a lookout for beautifull women trying to attack me ...
18:51 February 11, 2012 by terriergirl
Didn't they see that episode of Dr Who? This can only end badly.
20:44 February 11, 2012 by JohnnyEnglish
Agree with Abe. Stop researching things that we don't know.
21:32 February 11, 2012 by Douglas Garner
JohnnyE... Perhaps this is a research project for kids that don't want to study theoretical subjects?
07:28 February 12, 2012 by Dennis Nilsson
Everytime humans try to reach for new destination, we have to invent new technologies.. it is in these new technologies, the benefit lies.

Learn more here: http://launiusr.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/why-explore-space-a-1970-letter-to-a-nun-in-africa/
14:42 February 13, 2012 by rohermoker
I agree with Mr English, and am willing to go to the next logical step. Why are we spending monney to educate children to be smarter than their parents---nothing good can ever come fron this---
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