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Neurolab: An Introduction

President George Bush and the Congress of the United States declared the 1990s to be the "Decade of the Brain." This declaration recognized the spectacular advances that have taken place in neuroscience research over the past twenty-five years. Aptly called "the last frontier of human biology," neuroscience research holds infinite possibilities for greater understanding of how the nervous system works, and for treating and preventing nervous system ailments.

neurolab mission patch In response to this declaration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) dedicated a Spacelab shuttle mission (STS-90) to do research on the nervous system and behavior in space. This sixteen-day mission, called Neurolab, is scheduled for launch in spring 1998.

The main objectives of the Neurolab science payload are the study of how neuroscience research questions will be affected by a microgravity environment and the exploration of the mechanisms responsible for neurological and behavioral changes in space. In expanding our knowledge about fundamental biological processes, space experimentation serves as an educational tool that benefits Earth-based life science research as well.

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