Responsible Center: NASA JSC
Grant Monitor: Whitmore, Mihriban
Center Contact: 281-244-1004
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research
Project Type: FLIGHT
Flight Program: ISS
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|Human Research Program Gaps:
(1) HAB-02:We need to understand what aspects of human physical capabilities and limitations (e.g., body size and shape, range of gross movement) change for predetermined mission attributes, and need to be accommodated in internal vehicle/habitat design. (Previous title: SHFE-HAB-05) (IRP Rev H)
(2) OP04:We do not have a set of analytical tools to inform design decisions for new programs and reduce required human testing for validation of initial or modified designs (IRP Rev F)
|| NASA suit engineers and the Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) Projects Office have identified that suit fit in microgravity could become an increasing issue. It has also been noted that crewmembers often need to adjust their suit sizing once they are in orbit. This adjustment could be due to microgravity effects on anthropometry and postural changes, and is necessary to ensure optimal crew performance, fit, and comfort in space. To date, the only data collected in space to determine the effects of microgravity on physical human changes have been during Skylab, STS-57, and a recent HRP study on seated height changes due to spinal elongation, Spinal Elongation (Master Task List [MTL] 221), (Young, 2011). Skylab and the STS-57 studies found that the there is a distinct neutral body posture (NBP) based on photographs. Additionally, Skylab studies found that crewmembers could experience a stature growth of up to 3 percent. The Spinal Elongation study identified that the crewmembers could experience about a 6 percent growth in seated height and a 3 percent stature growth, when exposed to microgravity. The results thus prove that not all anthropometric measurements have the same microgravity percent growth factor. In order for EVA and the suit engineers to properly update the sizing protocol for microgravity, they need additional anthropometric data from space. Hence, this study was picked up by the ISS as Test bed for Analog Research (ISTAR) Program and was sponsored and funded by EVA to gather additional in-flight anthropometric measurements, such as lengths, depths, breadths, and circumferences to determine the changes to body shape and size due to microgravity effects.
It is anticipated that by recording the potential changes to body shape and size, a better suit sizing protocol will be developed for ISS and other space missions. In essence, this study will help NASA quantify the impacts of microgravity on anthropometry to ensure optimal crew performance, fit, and comfort. Additional in-flight physical changes due to neutral body postures (NBP) and the effects of spaceflight on NBP during extended exposure to microgravity also need to be quantified. This study will use simplistic data collection techniques, digital still and video data, to perform photogrammetric analyses to determine the changes that occur to the body shape, size, and NBP while exposed to a microgravity environment.
The aim of the study is to collect data from a minimum of three subjects per year over a four year time frame leading to a possible 12 subjects total. Data would be collected over multiple six month increments starting with increment 39/40 in November 2013. A minimum of three data collection sessions is required with an initial in-flight data collection session at approximately FD15.
Anthropometric measurements will be collected from crew participants during one pre-flight BDC, three in-flight data collection points (early, mid, and late at minimum), and one post-flight BDC data collection sessions. In-flight data collection will include photo and video based measurements for body lengths and postures, as well as tape measure measurements for body segment circumferences. Ground based BDC data collection sessions will be performed in the US Lab mockup and in the Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility at JSC.