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Making Space People Friendly
 Comprehend how
microgravity affects the
human body
 Comprehend the threat of
radiation to astronauts
traveling in space
 Comprehend the study of
space biomedicine
Making Space People Friendly
 How the microgravity of
space travel affects the
human body
 The threat of radiation to
astronauts traveling in
 The study of space
Space Travel on the Human Heart
 Astronauts lose heart mass and
exercise capacity after long periods in
 Could lead to impaired heart function
 May turn out that the heart does well
in space
Space Travel on Bones and Muscles
 Astronauts in space lose calcium from their bones
 With no gravity there is no weight and hence no bone maintenance
 Atrophy is a wasting away or shrinking of a body part, typically
from lack of use
Space Travel Affects the Sense of Body Weight
and Movement
 It’s hard for astronauts even to know
the orientation of their own bodies
 Microgravity also fools the nerves
that tell astronauts where their arms
and legs are
Space Travel on the Immune System
 Evidence that microgravity may also
affect astronauts’ immune systems
 Some bacteria’s ability to cause
disease seems to be increased
 Exercise may be a good preventative
 Trick is to avoid getting sick at all
The Psychological Challenges Associated
With Space Travel
 Sleep loss and anxiety can affect the
health, safety, and productivity of
space crews
 So can communication woes and the
problems of team dynamics
 NASA tries to help the astronauts by
sending up “care packages”
The Cancer Risk From Exposure to High Levels of
Radiation in Space
 When highly charged particles come
into contact with living tissue, they
ionize molecules of water or oxygen
 This creates what are known as free
 When free radicals affect cellular DNA,
this could possibly lead to
uncontrolled cell division and
ultimately cancer
 Significant tests are ongoing
The Benefits of Space Biomedical Research for
Health on Earth
 Telemedicine - the delivery of medical support to remote locations
 NASA expects to use telemedicine techniques during the flight to Mars as well
as on the planet’s surface
 Many of the health challenges astronauts face in space have their counterparts
on Earth
DIGITAL IMAGING BREAST BIOPSY SYSTEM— A non-surgical system developed with Space Telescope Technology that
greatly reduces the time, cost, pain, and other effects associated with traditional surgical biopsies.
BREAST CANCER DETECTION—A solar cell sensor that determines exactly when x-ray film has been exposed to optimum
density; it reduces exposure to radiation and doubles the number of patient exams per machine.
LASER ANGIOPLASTY—A "cool" type of laser, called an excimer laser, which offers precise non-surgical cleanings of clogged
arteries and fewer complications than in balloon angioplasty.
ULTRASOUND SKIN DAMAGE ASESMENT—An advanced ultrasound instrument to immediately assess depth of damage,
improving patient treatment and saving lives in serious burn cases.
HUMAN TISSUE STIMULATOR—A device employing NASA satellite technology that is implanted in the body to help control
chronic pain and involuntary motion disorders through electrical stimulation of targeted nerve centers or particular areas of the brain.
COOL SUIT—Custom-made suit that circulates coolant to lower body temperature; it dramatically improves symptoms of multiple
sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and other conditions.
PROGRAMMABLE PACEMAKER—An implant connected to a physician's computer and used to regulate heart rate, incorporating
multiple NASA technologies.
OCULAR SCRENING—An image-processing technique developed by NASA and now used to detect eye problems in very young
Making Space People Friendly
 Comprehend how the
microgravity of space travel
affects the human body
 Comprehend the threat of
radiation to astronauts
traveling in space
 Comprehend the study of
space biomedicine