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Exploration Medical Capability Project

Exploration Medical Capability Gaps

BioWATCH unit shown for size next to an ECG lead and a ruler.

PUMA being used in Aquarius, NOAAís underwater ocean laboratory, during NASA’s NEEMO-12 mission

Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer lab on a chip system (Credit: Agilent Technologies).

When traveling in space, astronauts are exposed to many changes in their physical environment that can harm their health. For example, astronauts lose up to 2% of their bone mass in weight-bearing areas of the skeleton and fluid shifts combined with lack of resistive motion can harm cardiovascular performance. Because future exploration missions will be much longer and more physically demanding than previous missions, NASA must expand its efforts to ensure the health and safety of the astronauts.

NASA’s Human Research Program consists of several projects to improve astronaut health during exploration missions, of which the Exploration Medical Capability Project is one. The portion of the project at the Glenn Research Center consists of several tasks, including developing hardware to produce IV fluid from resources onboard space vehicles, the Integrated Medical Model to quantify the risks associated with exploration missions, sensors to monitor astronaut health, and advanced fluid systems to provide the capability to perform medical laboratory tests with reusable devices.

Project Management:

Contacts at NASA Glenn Research Center

Project Manager: Sam Hussey