The SpaceX rocket launch has been delayed following reports that moldy food has been found among its research team’s kit. Research teams from universities of Exeter, Nottingham, and Lancaster hope that the microscope sized worms that are travelling to space will help in finding new treatments for muscular degenerative disease. The timing of their birth had been planned in such a manner that they would just have matured into adults during launch but as the flight has been delayed they will be a day older than planned. The worms were part of space travel team that was expected to launch early this week on SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was due to blast off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The delay of 24 hours will make the worms older when they arrive at International Space Station so research teams are considering sending another team of worm colonies. Space Agency of United Kingdom stated that timing is very critical for worm research as they are part of Molecular Muscle Experiment that is trying to understand the reason behind decline of neuromuscular when astronauts are in space. Russia’s Soyuz crew which blasted off from Kazakhstan this Monday had two astronauts A. McClain and D. Saint-Jacques along with senior cosmonaut O. Kononenko.
Worms are being studied as a part of space travel as their biological characters and muscle alterations and energy using ability is similar to humans and their space tour will represent accelerated model for human ageing. According to Dr. Timothy Etheridge this space flight of worms would help to gain more knowledge about human aging process on earth by studying molecular causes of aging in these worms and taking counter measures against it. The study will help to solve muscle loss problem in astronauts who lose around 40 percent of muscle mass within 180 days of living in space aboard the International Space Station.