By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — NASA set up shop today at the Franklin Institute, aiming to educate the public about research aboard the International Space Station and how it benefits us back here on Earth.

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The mobile exhibit, part of the space agency’s “Destination Station” campaign, is being used during NASA’s three-day tour of the city, setting up shop at different locations.

Kacey Templin, of the Johnson Space Center, details the setup at the Franklin Institute:

“We’ve got our suit expert here: a spacesuit engineer.  We have our mobile exhibit that’s all about the International Space Station. There’s a moon rock you can touch — it’s one of eight in the world you can actually touch.  We have an astronaut here who’s doing a presentation: Rick Mastracchio.”

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Templin says the experts will also be educating guests about how research on the International Space Station benefits us, such as research on diseases.

“We find that in a micro-gravity enviroment, cancer cells grow less aggressively.  They’re slower.  But we also find that when we take up salmonella strains, they actually grow more virulent.”

Templin says the data is then sent back to Earth, so we can try to find new ways to treat cancer, or create vaccines for salmonella.


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