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June 14, 2011
Astronaut Jeffrey S. Ashby, pilot, works at the Space Tissue Loss-B experiment on Space Shuttle Columbia's middeck. The experiment is set up to observe cells in culture with a video microscope imaging system to record near-real-time interactions of detecting and inducing cellular responses (macromorphological changes). Just above and to the right of STL-B is the part of the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) for the National Institute of Health (NIH-B experiment). It is an experiment designed to investigate the effects of space flight on neural development in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) larvae. This information may help scientists understand how gravity affects nerve growth and development and how neural connections to muscle fibers work. The photo was recorded with an electronic still camera (ESC) on Flight Day 1. Ashby and his four crew mates are scheduled to spend five days aboard Columbia in Earth orbit.

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