About this series
The extraordinary conditions of space, especially microgravity, are utilized for research in various disciplines of space life sciences. This research that should unravel – above all – the role of gravity for the origin, evolution, and future of life as well as for the development and orientation of organisms up to humans, has only become possible with the advent of (human) spaceflight some 50 years ago. Today, the focus in space life sciences is 1) on the acquisition of knowledge that leads to answers to fundamental scientific questions in gravitational and astrobiology, human physiology and operational medicine as well as 2) on generating applications based upon the results of space experiments and new developments e.g. in non-invasive medical diagnostics for the benefit of humans on Earth. The idea behind this series is to reach not only space experts, but also and above all scientists from various biological, biotechnological and medical fields, who can make use of the results found in space for their own research. SpringerBriefs in Space Life Sciences addresses professors, students and undergraduates in biology, biotechnology and human physiology, medical doctors, and laymen interested in space research. The Series is initiated and supervised by Dr. Günter Ruyters and Dr. Markus Braun from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Since the German Space Life Sciences Program celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012, it seemed an appropriate time to start summarizing – with the help of scientific experts from the various areas - the achievements of the program from the point of view of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) especially in its role as German Space Administration that defines and implements the space activities on behalf of the German government.