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How One of NASA’s Deep Space Challenges Could Be Solved in the Ocean | The Swim

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 Astronomy   |   Science
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A long-distance swimmer and a NASA astronaut have some surprising things in common, including the quest to protect their bones from deteriorating.

This Is the Engineering You'd Need to Cross the Pacific Ocean -

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A 51-year-old just began a 5,500-mile swim across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Francisco
"Throughout the entire trip, Lecomte and the boat accompanying him on the journey plan to collect samples and test the water, looking for everything from contamination from the Fukushima incident to the presence of microplastics in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch."

Fishing For Answers on Bone Loss in Space
“The fish in space showed normal body growth even though they had decreased mineral density in bones and teeth. The investigators observed the fish regularly and while the Medaka swam normally at first, they tended to become motionless late in the flight. This indicates that microgravity’s effect on bone density likely involves changes in mechanical force that lowers overall physical activity and therefore causes osteoclast activation.”

The scoop on how mouse poop might get humans to Mars
“Despite the trickier conditions, astronauts will acquire a precious poo pellet from each mouse every two weeks. They’ll measure each creature’s mass and bone density at least twice over the course of the experiment, draw blood, and film their habitat for three 48-hour periods too. Then, at the end of 30 days, they’ll “process” 10 of the mice (a polite euphemism for euthanasia and dissection). The surviving 10 will live on for another two months before making the same sacrifice.”


Ben Lecomte’s historic 5,500-mile swim from Japan to San Francisco is a feat that can’t be missed. Join us as we dive into the most extensive data set of the Pacific Ocean ever collected. Learn about the technology the Seeker crew is using to deter sharks away from Ben and measure the impact of the long-distance swim on his mind and body. Ben's core mission is to raise awareness for ocean health issues, so we’ll investigate key topics such as pollution and plastics as he swims closer to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, discover potential consequences from climate change, and examine how factors like ocean currents can impact his progress along the way.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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