Biotechnological research on ISS Russian Segment

Vitamin D Experiment

VITAMIN D experiment is a part of the science research activities to be performed aboard the ISS RS by Frank de Winne, ESA astronaut of Belgian nationality in the frame of the ODISSEA Project. The European Space Agency and Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs (OSTC) are customers of the preparation and implementation of the scientific program.


Characterization of the effect of microgravity on the mechanism of action of Vitamin D in mammalian osteoblasts.


  • Study of microgravity-induced alterations in 1,25(OH)2 vitaminD3 regulated gene expression. The mouse osteoblastic cell line MC3T3-E1 will be used and gene expression will be determined using Realtime PCR.
  • Study the mechanisms underlying microgravity-related alterations in gene expression in osteoblasts.

Science Hardware Used:

Aquarius-B hardware including:

  • Container for Transport / Ascent (CTA-B) AQUARIUS-B incubator/VITAMIN D with a set (5) plunger boxes containing mouse osteoblastic cells and combined in a single container.
  • Container for Transport / Return (CTR-B) passive container required for return of a set of B-containers with cells to the ground.
  • Electronics Control Unit (ECU).

Experiment Results:

B-Container/VITAMIN D with 5 plunger boxes containing cultivated mouse osteoblastic cells and ECU memory card.

ISS Crew

Shannon Walker WALKER

leg Novitskiy Novitskiy

Petr Dubrov Dubrov

Mark Vande Hei Vande Hei

Michael Hopkins Hopkins

Victor Glover Glover

Soichi Noguchi Noguchi