Acta Astronautica

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0094-5765
Publications
Article
The observation that bone mineral is lost in patients who are either immobilized or remain in bed for extended periods of time formed the basis for the concern that large amounts of bone mineral may be lost during long periods of weightlessness. This concern was magnified when early X-ray densitometry studies suggested that rather large amounts of mineral could be lost during rather short periods of weightlessness (4–14 days). Even though these Gemini results have recently been modified, they still reflect substantial losses in the upper extremity.
 
Article
Blood pressure at 30-sec intervals, heart rate, and percentage increase in leg volume continuously were recorded during a 25-min protocol in the M092 Inflight Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) experiment carried out in the first manned Skylab mission. These data were collected during six tests on each crewman over a 5-month preflight period. The protocol consisted of a 5-min resting control period, 1 min at -8, 1 min at -16, 3 min at -30, 5 min at -40, and 5 min at -50 mm Hg LBNP. A 5-min recovery period followed. Inflight tests were performed at approximately 3-day intervals through the 28-day mission. Individual variations in cardiovascular responses to LBNP during the preflight period continued to be demonstrated in the inflight tests. Measurements of the calf indicated that a large volume of fluid was shifted out of the legs early in the flight and that a slower decrease in leg volume, presumably due to loss of muscle tissue, continued throughout the flight. Resting heart rates tended to be low early in the flight and to increase slightly as the flight progressed. Resting blood pressure varied but usually was characterized by slightly elevated systolic blood pressure, lower diastolic pressure, and higher pulse pressures than during preflight examinations. During LBNP inflight a much greater increase in leg volume occurred than in preflight tests. Large increases occurred even at the smallest levels of negative pressure, suggesting that the veins of the legs were relatively empty at the beginning of the LBNP. The greater volume of blood pooled in the legs was associated with greater increases of heart rate and diastolic pressure and larger falls of systolic and pulse pressure than seen in preflight tests. The LBNP protocol represented a greater stress inflight, and on three occasions it was necessary to stop the test early because of impending syncopal reactions. LBNP responses inflight appeared to predict the degree of postflight orthostatic intolerance. Postflight responses to LBNP during the first 48 hours were characterized by marked elevations of heart rate and instability of blood pressure. In addition, systolic and diastolic pressures were typically elevated considerably both at rest and also during stress. The time required for cardiovascular responses to return to preflight levels was much slower than in the case of Apollo crewmen.
 
Article
Unlabelled: Cardiovascular adaptation was evaluated on 2 astronauts: one wearing thigh cuffs from flight day 1 to 8 (14d flight), the second without cuffs (21d flight). Ultrasound investigations were performed at rest and during LBNP. Results: Without thigh cuffs the cardiovascular adaptation consists in (1) the development of a hypovolemia with an increase of the heart rate and the cardiac output, (2) the decrease of the vascular tone in the deep (mesenteric and splanchnic) and peripheral (Lower limbs) vascular areas. The use of thigh cuffs maintains the volemia and the cardiac output at the preflight level (without heart rate increase) and prevents the loss of vascular tone in the deep and peripheral areas. Moreover the adaptative process changes since the cuffs are removed and even the volemia seems to be unaffected at this stage the vascular tone decreases to a comparable extend as during the flight without cuffs. Nevertheless during the flight without cuffs or 3 days after removing the cuffs hemodynamic signs of decreased orthostatic tolerance are present during the inflight and the 3 days post flight LBNP. Presently the possible contribution of the thigh cuffs to the reduction of the vascular deconditioning has not been tested yet.
 
Article
The experiment on Cosmos 1129 was based on our results obtained in rats exposed to single or repeated restrain stress in the laboratory. These results have convincingly demonstrated a significant increase of serotonin concentration (5-HT) in the hypothalamus in acutely stressed rats. This response, which was found also in the isolated hypothalamic nuclei, was diminished in repeatedly (40 times) immobilized rats. While the concentration of 5-HT was unchanged in the majority of the hypothalamic nuclei of animals subjected to cosmic flight, an increase was recorded only in the supraoptic nucleus (NSO) and a decrease in the periventricular nucleus. These findings demonstrate that only few areas of the hypothalamus respond to cosmic flight with changes of 5-HT concentration and suggest either that long-term cosmic flight cannot be an intensive stressor or that during the flight the rats became already adapted to its long-term effect. However, the exposure of flight rats to repeated immobilization stress resulted in a significant increase of 5-HT in the NSO, para-ventricular and dorsomedial (NDM) nuclei. It should be noted that we have never seen any changes of 5-HT concentration, tryptophan hydroxylase and monoamineoxidase activities in repeatedly (40 times) immobilized rats. On the other hand, the increase of 5-HT concentration in the NDM is a typical finding after seven exposures of rats to immobilization on Earth, daily for 150 min. In the experiment COSMOS 1129 such an increase of 5-HT concentration in the NDM was found not only in the flight group but also in the control group of rats subjected to five daily exposures of immobilization stress. With respect to these findings, the increased 5-HT concentrations observed in some isolated hypothalamic nuclei in the flight group of rats exposed after landing to repeated immobilization stress suggest that long-term space flight and the state of weightlessness do not represent a stressogenic factor with respect to the serotoninergic system in the hypothalamus.
 
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine human adaptation of a three members' crew during a 135 days MIR flight simulation and to compare and validate psychological methods for monitoring and support in flight. The main findings showed that isolation was not a key factor for the subjects who were more concerned by recreational activities, family, and work. The individual reactions to stress of the crew members were to project their problems on the others. These reactions had some consequences upon the group: Although the three subjects developed a weak tendency to "group think", one of the crew members was considered as less integrated to the group by the other two subjects, who, however, acted to protect (successfully) the general cohesion and mood of the crew. From a methodological point of view, baseline data predicted the difficulties that occurred for one of the crew member. Both quantitative and qualitative tools were adequate, although qualitative tests gave a closer approach to the actual situation that developed during the simulation.
 
Article
The primary objective of Experiment M151 was to study by means of time and motion analytic techniques the inflight adaptation of Skylab crewmen to a variety of task situations involving different types of activity. A parallel objective was to examine astronaut inflight performance for any behavioral stress effects associated with the working and living conditions of the Skylab environment. Training data provided the basis for comparison of preflight and inflight performance. Efficiency was evaluated through the adaptation function, namely, the relation of performance time over task trials. The results indicate that the initial changeover from preflight to inflight (or, from 1-G to zero-G) was accompanied by a substantial increase in performance time for most work and task activities. Equally important was the finding that crewmen adjusted rapidly to the weightless environment and became proficient in developing techniques with which to optimize task performance. By the end of the second inflight trial, most of the activities were performed almost as efficiently as on the last preflight trial. In addition, the analysis demonstrated the sensitivity of the adaptation function to differences in task and hardware configuration. The function was found to be more regular and less variable inflight than preflight. Translation and control of masses (large or small) were accomplished easily and efficiently through the rapid development of the arms and legs (and the entire body) as subtle guidance and restraint systems. Finally, the adaptation function provided no evidence of behavioral stress effects attributable to the Skylab environment.
 
Article
The Biostack experiments I and II were flown on board the Apollo 16 and 17 command modules in order to obtain information on the biological damage produced by the bombardment of heavy high-energy (HZE) particles of cosmic radiation during spaceflight. Such data are required for estimating radiation hazards in manned spaceflight. Seven biological systems in resting state (Bacillus subtilis spores, Colpoda cucullus cysts, Arabidopsis thaliana seeds, and eggs of Artemia salina, Tribolium castaneum and of Carausius morosus) were accommodated in the two Biostacks. By using a special sandwich construction of visual track detectors and layers of biological objects, identification of each hit biological object was achieved and the possible biological damage correlated with the physical features of the responsible HZE-particle. In the different systems the degree of damage depended on whether the hit cell was replaceable or not. A high sensitivity to HZE-particle bombardment was observed on Artemia salina eggs; 90% of the embryos, which were induced to develop from hit eggs, died at different developmental stages. Malformations of the abdomen or the extremities of the nauplius were frequently induced. In contrast, the growth of hit Vicia faba radiculae and the germination of hit Arabidopsis thaliana seeds and hit Bacillus subtilis spores were not influenced remarkably. But there was an increase in multicaulous plants and a reduction in the outgrowth of the bacterial spores. In addition, information was obtained on the fluence of the HZE-particles, on their spectrum of charge and energy loss, and on the absorption by the Apollo spacecraft and the Biostack material itself. This will help to improve knowledge concerning radiation conditions inside of spacecrafts, necessary to secure a maximum possible protection to the astronauts.
 
Article
The experiment was performed to ascertain whether man's ability to perform mechanical work would be altered as a result of exposure to the weightless environment. Skylab II crewmen were exercised on a bicycle ergometer at loads approximating 25%, 50%, and 75% of their maximum oxygen uptake while their physiological responses were monitored. The results of these tests indicate that the crewmen had no significant decrement in their response to exercise during their exposure to zero gravity. Immediately postflight, however, all crewmen demonstrated an inability to perform the programmed exercise with the same metabolic effectiveness as they did both preflight and inflight. The most significant changes were elevated heart rates for the same work load and oxygen consumption (decreased oxygen pulse), decreased stroke volume, and decreased cardiac output at the same oxygen consumption level. It is apparent that the changes occurred inflight, but did not manifest themselves until the crewmen attempted to readapt to the 1-G environment.
 
Article
Over the past two decades, hypothetical models of "worst-case" solar particle event (SPE) spectra have been proposed in order to place an upper bound on radiation doses to critical body organs of interplanetary crews on deep space missions. These event spectra are usually formulated using hypothetical extrapolations of space measurements for previous large events. Here we take a different approach. Recently reported analyses of ice core samples indicate that the Carrington flare of 1859 is the largest event observed in the past 500 years. These ice core data yield estimates of the proton fluence for energies greater than 30 MeV, but provide no other spectrum information. Assuming that the proton energy distribution for such an event is similar to that measured for other recent, large events, interplanetary crew doses are estimated for these hypothetical worst case SPE spectra. These estimated doses are life threatening unless substantial shielding is provided.
 
Article
The development of protective suits for space use started with the Vostok-suit SK-1, first used by Yu. Gagarin on April 12, 1961, and then used on all subsequent Vostok-flights. The technical background for the design of these suits was the work on full pressure protective suits for military pilots and stratospheric flights in the 1930's through 50's. The Soviet-Russian space programme contains a large number of 'firsts', and one of the most well known is the first EVA by Leonov in 1965. This event is also the starting point for a long series of space suit development for Extravehicular Activities over the last 35 years. The next step to come was the transfer in void space of crew members between the two spacecraft Soyuz 4 and 5 in 1969. As has later become known this was an essential element in the planned Soviet lunar exploration programme, which in itself required a new space suit. After the termination of the lunar programme in 1972, the space suit development concentrated on suits applicable to zero-gravity work around the manned space stations Salyut 6, Salyut 7 and MIR. These suits have become known as the ORLAN-family of suits, and an advanced version of this suit (ORLAN-M) will be used on the International Space Station together with the American EMU. This paper covers the space suit development in the Soviet Union in the 1960's and the experience used from the pre-space era.
 
Article
During the Altair MIR '93 mission we studied several parameters involved in blood volume regulation. The experiment was done on two cosmonauts before (B-60, B-30), during (D6, D12, D18 for French and D7, D12, D17 for Russian) and after the flight (R+1, R+3 and R+7). Space flight durations were different for two cosmonauts: for the Russian the flight duration was 198 days and for the French 21 days. On board the MIR station only urinary (volume and electrolytes, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and catecholamines) and salivary (cGMP and cortisol) samples were collected, centrifuged and stored in freezer. Lithium was used as a tracer to know exactly the 24 h urine output (CNES urine collection Kit). Before and after flight, blood was drawn with an epicite needle and vacutainer system for hormonal assays (renin, antidiuretic hormone, cGMP, ANP and aldosterone) in two positions: after 30 min rest in upright seated position and after 90 min of supine position. Salivary samples were collected simultaneously. During flight a decrease of diuresis and ANP and an increase of osmolality were found. No modifications of hematocrit, but an increase of salivary cGMP and cortisol were also observed. The decrease of urinary ANP is in favor of hypovolemia as described in previous flights. The postflight examinations revealed changes in fluid-electrolyte metabolism which indicate a hypohydration status and a stimulation of hormonal system responsible for water and electrolyte retention in order to readapt to the normal gravity.
 
Article
During 1986-1990 seven prime spacecrews (16 cosmonauts) have flown on-board the Mir orbital complex. The longest space mission duration was 366 days The principal objectives of the medical tasks were the maintenance of good health and performance of the spacecrews and conducting medical research programs which included study of the cardiovascular, motor, endocrine, blood, immune, and metabolic systems. Results obtained point to the ability of humans to readily adapt to a year-long stay in space and maintain good health and performance. Readaptation had a similar course as after other previous long-term space flights of up to 8 months in duration. Primary body system changes were not qualitatively different from findings after flights aboard the Salyut 6 and 7 space stations. In this case, during and after an 11-12 month flight, body system alterations were even less severe which was a result of adequate countermeasure use, their systematic and creative employment and maintenance of required environments to support life and work in space.
 
Article
On a space mission in 1992 we investigated the effect of pure neck receptor stimulation on eye roll position in space. To do this, we used the flash afterimage method. We found that eye rotations in static tilted head positions are absent in weightlessness. This suggests that in microgravity the neck position receptors do not contribute to a measurable extent to static OCR.
 
Article
Since the end of July 1992, the NAUSICAA system, a low gas pressured tissue equivalent proportional counter, recorded in real time the dose equivalent rate, the absorbed dose rate, the quality factor and the Linear Energy Transfer spectra, aboard the Russian orbital station MIR. The results since the ANTARES mission are presented. Some parameters like the proton flux, the previous solar cycles, the location of the NAUSICAA system inside the station and the South Atlantic Anomaly crossing seem to have an influence on these results. The total dose equivalent (H) during the ANTARES mission (between 1992 July the 30th and August the 10th) was 12 mSv and the total absorbed dose (D) 6.4 mGy with a quality factor (Q) equal to 1.9. The NAUSICAA system gives a good knowledge of LET spectra for the first time in space dosimetry.
 
Article
The effects of altered gravitational conditions (AGC) on the development of the static vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and readaptation to 1g were investigated in the amphibian Xenopus laevis. Tadpoles were exposed to microgravity during the German Space Mission D-2 for 10 days, using the STATEX closed survival system, or to 3g for 9 days during earth-bound experiments. At the beginning of AGC, the tadpoles had not yet developed the static VOR. The main results were: (i) Tadpoles with microgravity- or 3g-experience had a lower gain of the static VOR than the 1g-controls during the 2nd and 5th post-AGC days. (ii) Readaptation to response levels of 1g-reared controls usually occurred during the following weeks, except in slowly developing tadpoles with 3g-experience. Readaptation was less pronounced if, during the acute VOR test, tadpoles were rolled from the inclined to the normal posture than in the opposite test situation. It is postulated that (i) gravity is necessarily involved in the development of the static VOR, but only during a period including the time before onset of the first behavioural response; and (ii) readaptation which is superimposed by the processes of VOR development depends on many factors including the velocity of development, the actual excitation level of the vestibular systems and the neuroplastic properties of its specific pathways.
 
Article
Heavy water containing deuterium displays toxic property. It is stated that any quantity of a heavy isotope of hydrogen--deuterium--is undesirable to animals and plants. It was earlier shown by us that physical-chemical life support systems on board the "MIR" station fractionate (change) isotopes of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. Therefore, the problem of regenerative systems in habitable space objects should include removal, from water, of a heavy stable isotope of hydrogen--deuterium. In this article we consider one method of obtaining deuterium-free water--decomposition of distillate water in an electrolyser to hydrogen and oxygen with subsequent synthesis in a catalytic or high-temperature reactor. The influence of deuterium-free water on the growth and development of Arabidopsis thaliana and Japanese quail is investigated. It is shown that with the help of the electrolysis method it is possible to fabricate water containing 80% less deuterium in comparison with SMOW. Experimentally, it is proved on a culture of Arabidopsis thaliana and Japanese quail that water with reduced contents of deuterium (80%) displays positive biological activity.
 
Article
The environmental control and life support subsystem (ECLS) of the Spacelab module provides various functions which can be assigned to its various branches as follows: Thermal insulation from the external environment is achieved by the passive thermal control subsystem (PTCS). Rejection of the heat produced by the Spacelab subsystem equipment and by the various experiments is the task of the active thermal control subsystem (ATCS). Life support in the form of cabin air ventilation, oxygen/carbon dioxide partial pressure control; total pressure and air temperature/humidity control is achieved by the life support subsystem (LSS). In the first part of the paper a brief description of the various elements and loops forming the Spacelab ECLS will be given by discussing the PTCS, ATCS and LSS in some detail. Objective of the verification flight test program--as implied in the title already--is the verification of major requirements the ECLS has to comply with. Those requirements will then be comprehensively discussed in the second part of the paper. A description of the analytical approach is given in the third part of the paper. However, only those areas will be addressed which were included in the verification flight test program. A brief description of the flight instrumentation, the data transmission and collection follows then in the fourth part of the paper. In the fifth part of the paper the approach to select and compile flight test data obtained during the first mission (Shuttle flight STS 9) from November 28 till December 8, 1983 is illustrated. Flight test data are compared with the analytical predictions in form of examples. In the sixth and last portion of the paper the actual/measured performance is compared with the requirements, and conclusions are drawn with respect to comprehensiveness/accuracy of the flight test verification and the compliance of the Spacelab actual performance with the requirements.
 
Article
A feasibility study in 1992 showed the benefits of a common European Russian space suit development, EVA Suit 2000, replacing the Russian space suit Orlan-DMA and the planned European Hermes EVA space suit at the turn of the century. This EVA Suit 2000 is a joint development initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (RKA). The main objectives of this development program are: first utilization aboard the Russian Space Station MIR-2; performance improvement with respect to current operational suits; development cost reduction. Russian experience gained with the present extravehicular activity (EVA) suit on the MIR Space Station and extensive application of European Technologies will be needed to achieve these ambitious goals. This paper presents the current status of the development activities, the space suit system design and concentrates in more detail on life support aspects. Specific subjects addressed will include the overall life support conceptual architecture, design features, crew comfort and operational considerations.
 
Article
This short paper outlines the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration's development of its 2000 Strategic Plan.
 
Article
For the European manned space activities an EVA space suit system was being developed in the frame of the Hermes Space Vehicle Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA). The space suit was to serve the needs for all relevant extravehicular activities for the Hermes Columbus operations planned to begin in 2004. For the present Russian manned space programme the relevant EVAs are performed by the Orlan-DMA semi-rigid space suit. The origin of its development reaches back to the 1970s and has since been adapted to cover the needs for extravehicular activities on Salyut and MIR until today. The latest modification of the space suit, which guaranteed its completely self-contained operation, was made in 1988. However, Russian specialists considered it necessary to start developing an EVA space suit of a new generation, which would have improved performance and would cover the needs by the turn of the century and into the beginning of the next century. Potentially these two suit developments could have a lot in common based on similarities in present concepts. As future manned space activities become more and more an international effort, a safe and reliable interoperability of the different space suit systems is required. Based on the results of the Munich Minister Conference in 1991, the European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency agreed to initiate a requirements analysis and conceptual design study to determine the feasibility of a joint space suit development, EVA 2000. The design philosophy for the EVA 2000 study was oriented on a space suit system design of: space suit commonality and interoperability; increased crew productivity and safety; increase in useful life and reduced maintainability; reduced development and production cost. The EVA 2000 feasibility study was performed in 1992, and with the positive conclusions for EVA 2000, this approach became the new joint European Russian EVA Suit 2000 Development Programme. This paper gives an overview of the results of the feasibility study and presents the joint requirements and the proposed design concept of a jointly developed European Russian space suit.
 
Article
We describe the instrument design and detector development for MANES which has been selected to fly on the Mars 2003 Lander. Section 1 explains the need for the spectrometer in determining the increased risk of carcinogenesis for astronauts. Section 2 presents the instrument design including an outline drawing, a cross-sectional view and a detailed block diagram. Sections 3 and 4 describe the low and high energy detector components of the spectrometer and present responses to monoenergetic neutron beams. Sections 5 and 6 explain the design approaches to charged particle discrimination and instrument transfer function modeling.
 
Article
Issues about commercialization of space have been a growing concern in the past decade for the space community. This paper focuses on the work from a team of 51 students attending the Summer Session Program of the International Space University in Bremen, Germany. CASH 2021 (Commercial Access and Space Habitation) documents a plan that identifies commercial opportunities for space utilization that will extend human presence in space, and will chart the way forward for the next 20 years. The group selected four commercial sectors that show the most promise for the future: tourism, entertainment, space system service, assembly and debris removal, and research and development/production. The content of this document presents the results of their research. Historical activities in each of the commercial sectors are reviewed along with the current market situation. To provide a coherent background for future commercialization possibilities a scenario has been developed. This scenario includes a postulated upon ideal future and includes social, political and economic factors that may affect the space industry over the timeline of the study. The study also presents a roadmap, within the limited optimistic scenario developed, for the successful commercialization of space leading to future human presence in space. A broad range of commercially viable opportunities, not only within the current limits of the International Space Station, but also among the many new developments that are expected by 2021 are discussed.
 
Article
The aim of present experiment was to study the changes of corticosterone, insulin and glucose levels in plasma, of the activity of enzymes involved in aminoacid metabolism in liver and the binding of insulin to specific receptors of cell membrane from liver and also of adipose tissue of rats exposed to space flight for 14 days on biosatellite Cosmos 2044. Adult male Wistar rats (body mass 300–370 g) were divided into five groups: intact control rats (AC), rats exposed to space flight (F), animals in synchronous model experiment (S), rats in antiorthostatic hypokinesia (A) and so called operated control group (C). Half of all groups (5 animals) except the intact control were operated 3 days before the experiment (fibulas on both hind legs were broken). The flight animals were sacrificed 5–6 hours after landing.
 
Article
Radio frequency interference (RFI) will provide one of the most difficult challenges to systematic Searches for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) at microwave frequencies. The SETI-specific equipment is being optimized for the detection of signals generated by a technology rather than those generated by natural processes in the universe. If this equipment performs as expected, then it will inevitably detect many signals originating from terrestrial technology. If these terrestrial signals are too numerous and/or strong, the equipment will effectively be blinded to the (presumably) weaker extraterrestrial signals being sought. It is very difficult to assess how much of a problem RFI will actually represent to future observations, without employing the equipment and beginning the search. In 1983 a very high resolution spectrometer was placed at the Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories at Jodrell Bank, England. This equipment permitted an investigation of the interference environment at Jodrell Bank, at that epoch, and at frequencies within the 21 cm band. This band was chosen because it has long been "protected" by international agreement; no transmitters should have been operating at those frequencies. The data collected at Jodrell Bank were expected to serve as a "best case" interference scenario and provide the minimum design requirements for SETI equipment that must function in the real and noisy environment. This paper describes the data collection and analysis along with some preliminary conclusions concerning the nature of the interference environment at Jodrell Bank.
 
Article
In the past, space life sciences has focused on gaining an understanding of physiological tolerance to spaceflight, but, for the last 10 years, the focus has evolved to include issues relevant to extended duration missions. In the 21st century, NASA's long-term strategy for the exploration of the solar system will combine the assurance of human health and performance for long periods in space with investigations aimed at searching for traces of life on other planets and acquiring fundamental scientific knowledge of life processes. Implementation of this strategy will involve a variety of disciplines including radiation health, life support, human factors, space physiology and countermeasures, medical care, environmental health, and exobiology. It will use both ground-based and flight research opportunities such as those found in current on-going programs, on Spacelab and unmanned biosatellite flights, and during Space Station Freedom missions.
 
Article
This report is an initial review of plans for a extensive program to survey and develop the Moon and to explore the planet Mars during the 21st century. It presents current typical plans for separate, associated and fully integrated programs of Lunar and Martian research, exploration and development, and concludes that detailed integrated plans must be prepared and be subject to formal criticism. Before responsible politicians approve a new thrust into space they will demand attractive, defensible, and detailed proposals that explain the WHEN, HOW and WHY of each stage of an expanded program of 21st century space research, development and exploration. In particular, the claims of daring, innovative, but untried systems must be compared with the known performance of existing technologies. The time has come to supersede the present haphazard approach to strategic space studies with a formal international structure to plan for future advanced space missions under the aegis of the world's national space agencies, and supported by governments and the corporate sector.
 
Article
Prediction that the various stresses of flight, particularly weightlessness, would bring about significant derangements in the metabolism of the musculoskeletal system has been based on various observations of long-term immobilized or inactive bed rest. The only attempt at controlled measurement of metabolic changes in space prior to Skylab, a study during the 14-day Gemini VII flight, revealed rather modest losses of important elements. The three astronauts of Skylab II consumed a planned day-by-day, quite constant, dietary intake of major metabolic elements in mixed foods and beverages and provided virtually complete collections of excreta for 31 days preflight, during the 28 days inflight, and for 17 days postflight. Analyses showed that, in varying degree among the crewmen, urinary calcium increased gradually during flight in a pattern similar to that observed in bed-rest studies: the mean plateau peak of urinary calcium excretion in the latter part of flight was double preflight levels. Fecal calcium excretion did not change significantly, but calcium balance, owing to the urinary calcium rise, became either negative or less positive than in preflight measurement. Increased excretion and negative balance of nitrogen and phosphorus indicated appreciable loss of muscle tissue in all three crewmen. Significant losses also occurred inflight in potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Based on the similarity in pattern and degree between these observations and those in bed rest of the losses in calcium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, musculoskeletal integrity would not be threatened in space flights of up to at least 3 months. However, if similar changes occur, indicative of continuing losses of these elements, in the planned Skylab flights for considerably more than 28 days, concern for capable musculoskeletal function should be serious for flights of very many months' duration, and greater research attention will need to be given to development of protective counter-measures.
 
Article
The spontaneous baroreflex response was evaluated during supine rest and head up tilt (60 degrees) before and immediately after a 28 day 6 degrees HDT bedrest in 6 healthy adult men (age 30-42 years). Sequences of 3 or more beats where RR-interval and systolic blood pressure changed in the same direction were used to evaluate baroreflex response slope (BRS). Prior to bedrest, the mean BRS and RR-interval were 18.0 +/- 3.9 ms/mm Hg and 926 +/- 61 ms at rest and 10.5 +/- 2.5 ms/mm Hg and 772 +/- 63 ms during the first 10 min of 60 degrees tilt. Following bedrest, these values changed to 15.6 +/- 2.7 ms/mm Hg and 780 +/- 53 ms at rest, and to 6.5 +/- 1.2 ms/mm Hg and 636 +/- 44 ms during tilt. Thus, (1) the spontaneous baroreflex can be evaluated in human subjects during experiments of orthostatic stress; (2) the baroreflex slope was reduced on going from supine to the head up tilt position; and (3) 28 days of bedrest reduced the spontaneous baroreflex slope.
 
Article
Several factors may affect psychomotor performance in space: sensory-motor changes, sleep disturbances, psychological modifications induced by the social isolation and confinement. However, psychomotor performance is difficult to assess. A battery of standardized and computerized tests, so-called "Automated Portable Test System" (APTS) was devised to ascertain the cognitive, perceptive and motor abilities and their possible fluctuations according to environmental effects. Antiorthostatic bedrest, often used to simulate weightlessness, (particularly cardiovascular modifications) also constitutes a situation of social confinement and isolation. During two bedrest experiments (with head-down tilt of -6 degrees) of 28 days each, we intended to assess psychomotor performance of 6 males so as to determine whether: on the one hand, it could be altered by remaining in decubitus; on the other, the Lower Body Negative Pressure sessions, designed to prevent orthostatic intolerance back on Earth, could improve the performance. To accomplish this, part of the APTS tests as well as an automated perceptive attention test were performed. No downgrading of psychomotor performance was observed. On the contrary, the tasks were more accurately performed over time. In order to assess the experimental conditions on the acquisition phase, the learning curves were modelled. A beneficial effect of the LBNP sessions on simple tests involving the visual-motor coordination and attention faculties can only be regarded as a mere trend. Methods used in this experiment are also discussed.
 
Article
Unlabelled: Adaptation to head-down-tilt bed rest as a simulated microgravity leads to an abnormality of reflex control of circulation, hypovolemia and reduction of exercise capacity. We hypothesized that this cardiovascular deconditioning and reduction of exercise capacity could be prevented by a daily 1 hr centrifugation at +2Gz. To test this hypothesis, twenty healthy male subjects underwent 4 day of 6 degrees head-down-tilt bed rest. Ten of them were exposed to a +2Gz load for up to 30 min twice per day (the Gz group). The remaining 10 were not exposed to a Gz load (the no-Gz group). We estimated autonomic cardiovascular control by power spectral analysis of blood pressure and R-R interval variability, and baroreflex regulation by the transfer function analysis and the sequence method, before and after bed rest. Further, we measured hematocrit as an index of changes in plasma volume and maximal oxygen consumption as an index of exercise capacity, before and after bed rest. Result: In the no-Gz group, heart rate increased after bed rest. The high frequency power of R-R interval variability as an index of cardiac parasympathetic nervous activity, baroreflex gains estimated by transfer function analysis and the sequence method as index of the integrated arterial-cardiac baroreflex function decreased significantly. Associated with these changes, the ratio of low to high frequency power of R-R as an indicator of cardiac sympathovagal balance tended to increase after bed rest in the no-Gz group. However, those showed no significant changes after bed rest in the Gz group. Hematocrit increased after bed rest in the no-Gz group. It also tended to increase in the Gz group, however it did not achieve statistical significance. Maximal oxygen consumption decreased significantly to similar extent in both the groups. Conclusion: This result suggested that 1) a daily 1hr +2Gz load produced by a centrifuge might eliminate the changes in autonomic cardiovascular control during simulated weightlessness; 2) furthermore, it might partly reverse hypovolemia induced by bed rest; 3) however, it could not prevent the decreases in exercise capacity.
 
Article
Usefulness of a short-arm human centrifuge is expected when it is used in space as a countermeasure against cardiovascular deconditioning, problem of bone-calcium metabolism, etc. However, nothing is solidly established regarding the most desirable program for artificial G application. Accordingly, this study was designed to analytically evaluate the effects of repeated long duration +Gz load on human cardiovascular function. Recently heart rate spectral analysis has been recognized as a powerful tool for quantitatively evaluating parasympathetic and sympathetic activity separately in human. It is reported that power of the high frequency component (HF-p) is mediated selectively by parasympathetic activity and the power ratio of low to high frequency components(LF/HF) is indicative of cardiac sympathetic activity or cardiac sympathovagal balance. Sequence method is developed to examine spontaneous baroreceptor reflex sensitivity (BRS). We studied cardiovascular control function by using these methods in 9 healthy men before and after 7 days of daily repeated 1hour +2Gz load. When compared with the data of pre-G load period, post-G load period, decrease of HR, increases of HF-p and BRS were statistically significant. SBP, DBP and LF/HF tended to decrease, however, these changes were not statistically significant. This results indicate that repeated +2Gz load increases parasympathetic activity and arterial baroreceptor-cardiac reflex sensitivity. In recent years, many investigators suggest that space flight and head-down bedrest leads to impaired baroreceptor-cardiac reflex responses and decrease of parasympathetic activity, which may contribute to orthostatic intolerance. So our results suggest that daily repeated 1hour +2Gz load would be useful in preventing post-flight orthostatic intolerance.
 
Article
The aim of the experiment was to obtain new knowledge on the biological effectiveness of high-energy (300 MeV/nucleon) helium ions, which represent a part of the spectrum of cosmic rays. Male (CBA x C57BL)F1 mice, 4 months old, were exposed to a dose of 4 Gy helium ions (exposure rate 0.05 Gy/min). As a comparative standard irradiation the same dose of 4 Gy of 137Cs gamma-rays (exposure rate 0.07 Gy/min) was used. Material sampling was performed 6-8 h, 4 days and 9 days after irradiation for both experimental groups mentioned above. There were 7 animals in each group including the control group of non-irradiated mice. Eight basic hematological parameters of peripheral blood, bone marrow, spleen and thymus were studied. On day 4 after the irradiation with helium ions, the values of leukocyte counts in peripheral blood, bone marrow cellularity and spleen cellularity were reduced to about 10% of the respective control values while the decline after irradiation with gamma-rays amounted to about 50%. These and other results presented reflect a high relative biological effectiveness of 300 MeV/nucleon helium ions.
 
Article
Changes in trabecular bone composition during development of osteoporosis are used as a model for bone loss in microgravity conditions during a space flight. Symbolic dynamics and measures of complexity are proposed and applied to assess quantitatively the structural composition of bone tissue from 3D data sets of human tibia bone biopsies acquired by a micro-CT scanner. In order to justify the newly proposed approach, the measures of complexity of the bone architecture were compared with the results of traditional 2D bone histomorphometry. The proposed technique is able to quantify the structural loss of the bone tissue and may help to diagnose and to monitor changes in bone structure of patients on Earth as well as of the space-flying personnel.
 
Article
Seven healthy subjects were submitted to a 42-day head down bedrest, where leg venous compliance (venous distensibility index VDI) and leg volumes were assessed by mercury strain gauge plethysmography with venous occlusion and optoelectronic plethysmography, respectively. Plethysmographic and volometric measurements were made, before, during (at days 1, 4, 7, 14, 21, 26, 34 and 41), and after bedrest (days 1, 4, 7, 11 and 30 of the recovery period). Results showed a continuous decrease in leg volumes throughout bedrest, when VDI increased until day 26 of bedrest, and then decreased afterwards. The recovery period was characterized by a rapid return of VDI to prebedrest levels while leg volumes progressively normalised. These results showed that leg venous compliance changes are not always dependent upon skeletal muscle changes, and that factors other than size of muscle compartment are able to determine increases in leg venous compliance during long-term bedrest.
 
Article
Both microgravity and simulated microgravity models, such as the 45HDT (45 degrees head-down tilt), cause a redistribution of body fluids indicating a possible adaptive process to the microgravity stressor. Understanding the physiological processes that occur in microgravity is a first step to developing countermeasures to stop its harmful effects, i.e., (edema, motion sickness) during long-term space flights. Because of the kidneys' functional role in the regulation of fluid volume in the body, it plays a key role in the body's adaptation to microgravity. Rats were injected intramuscularly with a radioactive tracer and then lightly anesthetized in order to facilitate their placement in the 45HDT position. They were then placed in the 45HDT position using a specially designed ramp (45HDT group) or prone position (control group) for an experimental time period of 1 h. During this period, the 99mTc-DTPA (technetium-labeled diethylenepentaacetate, MW=492 amu, physical half-life of 6.02 h) radioactive tracer clearance rate was determined by measuring gamma counts per minute. The kidneys were then fixed and sectioned for electron microscopy. A point counting method was used to quantitate intracellular spaces of the kidney proximal tubules. 45HDT animals show a significantly (p=0.0001) increased area in the interstitial space of the proximal tubules. There are significant changes in the kidneys during a 1 h exposure to a simulated microgravity environment that consist primarily of anatomical alterations in the kidney proximal tubules. The kidneys also appear to respond differently to the initial periods of head-down tilt.
 
Article
Measurements of the level and pattern of moments applied in the manual assembly of a space structure were made in extravehicular activity (EVA) and neutral buoyancy simulation (NBS). The Experimental Assembly of Structures in EVA program included the repeated assembly of a 3.6 m tetrahedral truss structure in EVA on STS-61B after extensive neutral buoyancy crew training. The flight and training structures were of equivalent mass and geometry to allow a direct correlation between EVA and NBS performance. A stereo photographic motion camera system was used to reconstruct in three dimensions rotational movements of structural beams during assembly. Moments applied in these manual handling tasks were calculated on the basis of the reconstructed movements taking into account effects of inertia, drag and virtual mass. Applied moments of 2.0 Nm were typical for beam rotations in EVA. Corresponding applied moments in NBS were typically up to five times greater. Moments were applied as impulses separated by several seconds of coasting in both EVA and NBS. Decelerating impulses were only infrequently observed in NBS.
 
Article
It was found that reactive oxygen species in Anabaena cells increased under simulated microgravity provided by clinostat. Activities of intracellular antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, catalase were higher than those in the controlled samples during the 7 days' experiment. However, the contents of glutathione [correction of gluathione], an intracellular antioxidant, decreased in comparison with the controlled samples. The results suggested that microgravity provided by clinostat might break the oxidative/antioxidative balance. It indicated a protective mechanism in algal cells, that the total antioxidant system activity increased, which might play an important role for algal cells to adapt the environmental stress of microgravity.
 
Article
The Cosmos-782 flight from 25 November to 15 December 1975, carried biological experiments designed to study the effects of weightlessness on insects and fish and on gravitropism and growth in several seed varieties. Investigations carried out on Drosophila melanogaster measured the frequency of recessive lethal mutations and the change in genetic distances in the sex chromosome. The study of Fundulus heteroclitus eggs and fry compared the effects of weightlessness and artificial gravity. Plants experiments studied spatial orientation of over and underground organs of Pinus silvestris and Crepis capillaris seeds. Other investigations used Phycomyces blakesleanus to compare spatial orientation and growth and development in weightlessness and artificial gravity.
 
Article
In the 18.5-day flight of the Soviet biosatellite Cosmos-936 (3-22, August 1977) com-parative investigations of the physiological effects of prolonged weightlessness (20 rats) and artificial gravity of 1 g (10 rats) were carried out. Throughout the flight artificial gravity was generated by means of animal rotation in two centrifuges with a radius of 320mm. Postflight examination of animals and treatment of the flight data were performed by Soviet scientists in collaboration with the specialists from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, France and the U.S.A. During the flight the total motor activity of the weightless rats was higher and their body temperature was lower than those of the centrifuged animals. Postflight examination of the weightless rats showed a greater percentage of errors during maze an increase in water intake and a decrease in diuresis; a fall of the resistance of peripheral red cells; an increase in the conditionally pathogenic microflora in the mouth; a decrease of oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and energy expenditures; a drop in the static physical endurance; a decline in the capacity to keep balance on the rail; an increase in the latent period of the lifting reflex, etc. The centrifugal animals displayed lesser or no change of the above type. These findings together with the biochemical and morphological data give evidence that during and after flight adaptive processes in the centrifuged rats developed better.
 
Article
An anthropometric mannequin implemented in robotic modelling software has proved very useful in the simulation of static and semi-dynamic reachability envelopes. Its prediction of working postures has been verified to some extent during neutral buoyancy trials. While a robotic solution is useful for static analyses or rough estimates of simple movements, more realistic movement strategies need to be identified directly measuring astronauts' in-orbit behaviour. A set of experiments is to be performed as part of the EUROMIR '95 mission to the MIR orbiting station in which dynamic posture (i.e. posture and movement) measurements will be taken using the ELITE system. The data and analyses of the data will be used to animate the Alenia anthropometric mannequin and to develop movement algorithms more similar to those of a person in microgravity than the robotic solutions currently employed. This paper presents the experiments to be performed and the changes to Alenia's mannequin that will allow the model to effect movements according to the experimental results. It is aimed at expanding the dialog between the biomechanical and human factors disciplines started in this experiment to other potential end-users of the experimental results.
 
Article
Manned spaceflight has been an important element of the German space program over the last decades. This is demonstrated by the nationally managed space missions Spacelab D-l (1985), D-2 (1993), and MIR '92 as well as by the participation in the 1st Spacelab mission FSLP (1983), the NASA missions IML-1 (1992) and IML-2 (1994), as well as in the ESA missions EUROMIR '94 and '95. On February 12th, this year, the German cosmonaut Reinhold Ewald was launched together with his Russian colleagues Wasilij Zibliew and Alexander Lasudkin onboard of a Soyuz spacecraft for another stay of a German cosmonaut onboard of the Russian Space Station MIR. This mission--the so-called German/Russian MIR '97--was, of course, another cornerstone with regard to the cooperation between Russian and German space organizations. The cooperation in the area of manned missions began 1978 with the flight of the German cosmonaut Sigmund Jahn onboard of Salyut 6, at that time a cooperation between the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic in the frame of the Interkosmos Program. In March 1992, it was followed by the flight of Klaus Dietrich Flade with his stay onboard of MIR. After two further successful ESA missions, EUROMIR '94 and '95 with the two German cosmonauts Ulf Merbold and Thomas Reiter and with a marked contribution of German scientists, the decision was taken to perform another German/Russian MIR mission, the so-called MIR '97. In Germany, MIR'97 was managed and performed in a joint effort between several partners. DARA, the German Space Agency, was responsible for the overall program and project management, while DLR, the German Aerospace Research Establishment, was responsible for the cosmonaut training, for medical operations, for the mission control at GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen as well as for user support.
 
Article
Recognition of the human risks from radiation exposure during manned missions in deep space has been fostered by international co-operation; interagency collaboration is facilitating their evaluation. Further co-operation can lead, perhaps by the end of this decade, to an evaluation of one of the three major risks, namely radiation cataractogenesis, sufficient for use in the planning of the manned mission to Mars.
 
Article
In the present investigation we report the effects of simulated microgravity conditions (clinostat) on the induction of chromosomal aberrations in human lymphocytes in vitro by (R) Bleomycin. Chromosomal aberrations have been analysed by means of fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) and chromosome-specific composite DNA probes (chromosome painting). The results obtained show that, under simulated microgravity conditions, the levels of both symmetrical and asymmetrical (dicentrics, rings), the number of cells bearing "complex" aberrations and hence the total numbers of aberrations were significantly elevated at any of the dose-levels assayed, compared to the parallel treatments performed as 1g control ("ground"). Furthermore, the ratio symmetrical:asymmetrical translocations was markedly elevated under simulated microgravity conditions, compared to the findings usually observed under "normal" 1g conditions. On these bases, we are much inclined to believe that simulated microgravity, rather than limiting the resealing of DNA double strand breaks (DSB's) induced by genotoxic agents is influencing in terms of enhancement the misrejoining of DSB's which is actually responsible for the fixation of the original lesions to DNA into chromosomal aberrations. In addition, the possible different misrepair processes leading to the formation of symmetrical and asymmetrical translocations might be differentially influenced by microgravity being the symmetrical translocations significantly more represented.
 
Article
The impact of microgravity and other stressors on cognitive performance need to be quantified before long duration space flights are planned or attempted since countermeasures may be required. Four astronauts completed 38 sessions of a 20-minute battery of six cognitive performance tests on a laptop computer. Twenty-four sessions were preflight, 9 sessions were in-orbit, and 5 sessions were postflight. Mathematical models of learning were fit to each subject's preflight data for each of 14 dependent variables. Assuming continued improvement, expected values were generated from the models for in-orbit comparison. Using single subject designs, two subjects showed statistically significant in-orbit effects. One subject was degraded in two tests, the other was degraded in one test and exceeded performance expectations in another. Other subjects showed no statistically significant effects on the tests. The factors causing the deterioration in the two subjects can not be determined without appropriate ground-based control groups.
 
Article
The tenth long-duration expedition crew is currently in residence aboard International Space Station (ISS), continuing a permanent human presence in space that began in October 2000. During that time, expedition crews have been operators and subjects for 18 Human Life Sciences investigations, to gain a better understanding of the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the crewmembers and of the environment in which they live. Investigations have been conducted to study: the radiation environment in the station as well as during extravehicular activity (EVA); bone demineralization and muscle deconditioning; changes in neuromuscular reflexes; muscle forces and postflight mobility; causes and possible treatment of postflight orthostatic intolerance; risk of developing kidney stones; changes in pulmonary function caused by long-duration flight as well as EVA; crew and crew-ground interactions; changes in immune function, and evaluation of imaging techniques. The experiment mix has included some conducted in flight aboard ISS as well as several which collected data only pre- and postflight. The conduct of these investigations has been facilitated by the Human Research Facility (HRF). HRF Rack 1 became the first research rack on ISS when it was installed in the US laboratory module Destiny in March 2001. The rack provides a core set of experiment hardware to support investigations, as well as power, data and commanding capability, and stowage. The second HRF rack, to complement the first with additional hardware and stowage capability, will be launched once Shuttle flights resume. Future years will see additional capability to conduct human research on ISS as International Partner modules and facility racks are added to ISS. Crew availability, both as a subject count and time, will remain a major challenge to maximizing the science return from the bioastronautics research program.
 
Article
The activation of the US Laboratory Module "Destiny" on the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2001 launched a new era in microgravity research. Destiny provides the environment to conduct long-term microgravity research utilizing human intervention to assess, report, and modify experiments real time. As the only available pressurized space platform, ISS maximizes today's scientific resources and substantially increases the opportunity to obtain much longed-for answers on the effects of microgravity and long-term exposure to space. In addition, it evokes unexpected questions and results while experiments are still being conducted, affording time for changes and further investigation. While building and outfitting the ISS is the main priority during the current ISS assembly phase, seven different space station crews have already spent more than 2000 crew hours on approximately 80 scientific investigations, technology development activities, and educational demonstrations.
 
Characteristics of respondents (n = 52) 
Article
Space education is a discipline that has evolved at an unprecedented rate over the past 25 years. Although program proceedings, research literature, and historical documentation have captured fragmented pieces of information about student space experiments, the field lacks a valid comprehensive study that measures the educational impact of sounding rockets, Skylab, Ariane, AMSAT, and Space Shuttle. The lack of this information is a problem for space educators worldwide which led to a national study with classroom teachers. Student flown experiments continue to offer a unique experiential approach to teach students thinking and reasoning skills that are imperative in the current international competitive environment in which they live and will work. Understanding the history as well as the current status and educational spin-offs of these experimental programs strengthens the teaching capacity of educators throughout the world to develop problem solving skills and various higher mental processes in the schools. These skills and processes enable students to use their knowledge more effectively and efficiently long after they leave the classroom. This paper focuses on student space experiments as a means of motivating students to meet this educational goal successfully.
 
Article
Paramecium tetraurelia cultured aboard Salyut 6 have shown in increase in cell growth rate, cell volume, water content and changes in electrolyte content. Additional experiments, carried out in balloon flight and on earth, showed that the stimulating effect observed on cell proliferation is related to exposure to cosmic rays. Other changes seem to be due to a direct effect of microgravity on cell. Mechanism of gravity action on cell is discussed.
 
Article
A telescience ground testbed experiment was conducted by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) at the Tsukuba Space Center in March 1991. The objectives of the ground testbed experiment were to extract scientists' requirements for a communication method, to evaluate the influence of transmission delay and capacity on experiment operations, and to evaluate performance and functions of the system for the testbed experiment. The microscopic operations experiment, the image furnace experiment and the onboard training experiment were selected as typical ground testbed experiments. In these experiments, motion video transmission at 320 kbps was acceptable for observing the experiments and communicating between the principal investigator and the payload specialist. In the microscopic operations experiment, motion video transmission at 1.5 Mbps or more was required for detailed observation. A 4-second transmission delay (roundtrip) was allowable for mutual communication.
 
Top-cited authors
Gregory - Sivashinsky
  • Tel Aviv University
Wei Huang
  • National University of Defense Technology
N. N. Smirnov
  • Lomonosov Moscow State University
A. K. Misra
  • McGill University
Yuichi Tsuda
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency