"We would love to send worms to places like Mars and/or other planets," Szewczyk said. "The key challenge, and a major goal of this publication, is to convince governments and/or funding agencies that this can and should be done. From our perspective, the specific destination is not important. Rather, traveling beyond the Van Allen belts and especially for three to six months beyond this is key."
"Nowadays, we know the effect of microgravity on organisms, including human astronauts, for several months," said Atsushi Higashitani, a professor in the Graduate School of Life Sciences at Tohoku University.
He added that "remote automated multi-generational growth (of other species) is very important to study the molecular effect of microgravity on genetic inheritance, including mutations and epigenetic controls, beyond a (single) generation."
Szewczyk and his team are already at work on another related paper, which will explain a mechanism by which muscles affected by space travel can repair themselves.