Science & Research
Polaris Dawn, the first of up to three spaceflights in the Polaris Program, endeavors to rapidly advance human spaceflight capabilities by demonstrating new technologies and conducting extensive scientific research to expand our knowledge of humans adapting, living and working in space. Much of this research also has purpose and applicability to improve life here on Earth.
While in orbit, SpaceX mission control will carefully monitor Dragon and the crew as they:
- Attempt the first-ever commercial spacewalk with SpaceX-designed extravehicular activity (EVA) spacesuits, upgraded from the current intravehicular (IVA) suit. The development of this suit and the execution of the EVA will be important steps toward a scalable design for spacesuits on future long-duration missions.
- Become the first crew to test Starlink laser-based communications in space, providing valuable data for future space communications systems necessary for human spaceflight to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
- Use ultrasound to monitor, detect, and quantify venous gas emboli (VGE), contributing to studies on human prevalence to decompression sickness.
- Gather data on the radiation environment to better understand how space radiation affects human biological systems.
- Provide biological samples towards multi-omics analyses for a long-term Biobank.
- Conduct research related to Spaceflight Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS), which is a key risk to human health in long-duration spaceflight.