NASA set to launch human tissue cells into space to help solve heart problems

NASA has teamed with Elon Musk's SpaceX to launch rocket into space containing human tissue samples.

And it is hoped that the samples will be used to develop treatments for heart issues.

The missing is set to launch on Tuesday (March 14) from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

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The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will also carry supplies to the International Space Station,a s well as the human tissue samples.

A spokesman said: “The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will deliver new science investigations, supplies, and equipment for the international crew, including NASA’s HUNCH Ball Clamp Monopod – a student manufactured project that can make filming in space easier.

“It will also have the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Tanpopo-5 investigation which studies the origin, transportation, and survival of life in space and on extraterrestrial planets.

“Dragon will also deliver the final two experiments from the National Institutes for Health and International Space Station National Laboratory’s Tissue Chips in Space initiative. Both studies, Cardinal Heart 2.0 and Engineered Heart Tissues-2, use small devices containing living cells that mimic functions of human tissues and organs to advance the development of treatments for cardiac dysfunction.”

No details on the exact experiments being carried out on the human tissue and organs have been revealed by either NASA or SpaceX.

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The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive on Thursday (March 16) at 7.07am, and will spend around a month attached to the ISS before flying back down to Earth – autonomously – with the results of the research and extra cargo.

It is expected to land somewhere off the coast of Florida.

The Dragon ship can actually carry seven people into space – it is not clear whether or not humans will be taken on this journey, however.

It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth, and is the first private spacecraft to take humans to the space station.

It can carry around 3,000kg back to Earth from the ISS.

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