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Why do we conduct science experiments in space?

Science is our quest for more knowledge about the world and ourselves. For thousands of years, humanity has pushed boundaries in its search to learn more about our place in the universe.

Canadian science on the International Space Station

Canada's participation in the International Space Station (ISS) allows our scientists to access the unique space environment and conduct cutting-edge experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory to:

  1. prepare for deep-space destinations
  2. use the knowledge obtained to improve our quality of life on Earth

Did you know that many science experiments are being conducted on the ISS at any given time? Why do we do science in space? (Credit: Canadian Space Agency) (Transcript)

Preparing for deep-space destinations

As space agencies from all over the world are looking to propel humanity further into the solar system, Canada's space science community continues to conduct research aboard the ISS.

We want to better understand the risks associated with human space flight—and help find countermeasures and treatments—to identify, characterize, and mitigate the effects on astronauts' health in order to make space travel safer.

Missions to the Moon and Mars mean longer trips and more risks for astronauts, including:

Using the knowledge obtained to improve our quality of life on Earth

Studying the way our body changes in space help us understand the impacts of reduced levels of physical activity and issues that affect older adult populations on Earth.

Living in weightless conditions changes the human body in many ways. The effects observed in astronauts are similar to accelerated aging and health problems caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Studying the human body in space for six months gives us data that would take years to gather on Earth. New information gained in space contributes to improved quality of life on Earth.

Canadian scientists use space to study our bones, heart, blood vessels and brain. Their experiments have produced findings that can help people suffering from balance problems, such as seniors; osteoporosis; cardiovascular disorders; and Type-2 diabetes.

How does space affect the human body?

How does space affect the human body - infographic

How does space affect the human body? - Text version

Space has tremendous effects on the human body! By studying astronauts' health, we also help people on Earth. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

Learn more about Canadian science on the ISS

On average, there are 200 international space experiments on board the ISS at any given time. Canadian universities and companies in the space community are involved in advancing our knowledge of health and life sciences in space.

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