Published: Dec. 6, 2022
Zea and Niederwieser work on a component in the lab.

The Artemis 1 spacecraft is in orbit around the Moon this week, carrying 12,000 varieties of yeast as part of an experiment led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The yeast cells will help scientists answer a critical question in space exploration: How might human bodies fare in the extreme environment of deep space, where astronauts could be exposed to the equivalent of thousands of chest X-rays’ worth of radiation on every voyage. 

NPR interviewed Luis Zea, a former Smead Aerospace research professor who is leading the project, and Tobias Niederwieser, a research associate in BioServe Space Technologies and engineer on the team.

Listen to the piece at NPR...