Institute of Biomedical Problems|
Russian Academy of Sciences
|Mission duration||30 days|
|Bus||Modified Yantar-1KFT (Siluet & Kometa) bus (Hybrid Yantar/Zenit)|
|Launch mass||6,266 kilograms (13,814 lb)|
|Landing mass||2,415 kilograms (5,324 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||19 April 2013, 10:00UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 31/6|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||19 May 2013, 03:12UTC|
|Semi-major axis||6,948 kilometres (4,317 mi)|
|Perigee||471 kilometres (293 mi)|
|Apogee||579 kilometres (360 mi)|
|Argument of perigee||185.2934 degrees|
|Mean anomaly||174.7374 degrees|
|Epoch||18 May 2013, 23:34:13 UTC|
The satellite contains parts from two long standing Soviet spy satellite families. Bion's landing unit is from the Zenit 2M satellite and the satellite also contains the instrument section of a Yantar. It was made by TsSKB Progress of Samara.
The cargo consisted of 45 mice (three per cage), 15 geckos, eight Mongolian gerbils, snails, and fish. The animals were intended to survive the entire mission, but upon landing it was found that all gerbils, most of the 45 mice, and all of the fish were dead due to equipment failure. Fifteen of the mice died when the food dispenser in their experimental compartment stopped working. The gerbil compartment suffered a temporary loss of power, ventilation, lighting, and food supply that likely accounts for their demise. Ultimately, all of the remaining animals will be euthanized for study. The Bion-M No.1 mission is managed by Roscosmos, but scientists from the United States, Germany, Canada, Poland, the Netherlands and other countries are participating in the experiments.
|Organism||Number sent||Number survived||Cause of death|
|Mongolian gerbils (Meriones ungviculatus)||8||all died||Equipment failure|
|mice (Mus musculus) (C57black/6)||45||16||food supply failure (15), stress|
|geckos (Chondrodactylus turneri Gray)||15||survived|||
|fish (Oreochromis mossambicus)||all died||Equipment failure|
|snails (Helix pomatia Linnaeus)||20||survived|
|other, including microorganisms||survived|
Research based on the recovered animals has revealed insights into the impact of spaceflight on cerebral arteries, the spinal cord, inner ear, and genetic processes. Deputy Director of Russia's Institute of Medical and Biological Studies Vladimir Sychev indicated that some of the results may help explain why some astronauts suffer impaired vision during spaceflight: "We used to think that in zero-gravity, fluid travelled upward and that the quality of blood improved, but it turns out that it is the other way around. The arteries of the brain come under duress and their capacity is reduced by 40 percent." The reduced bloodflow may be key to triggering orthostatic intolerance.
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