Task Book: Biological & Physical Sciences Division and Human Research Program
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Project Title:  Temporal Changes in Astronauts' Muscle and Cardiorespiratory Physiology Pre, During, and Post Spaceflight Reduce
Images: icon  Fiscal Year: FY 2019 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 12/01/2018  
End Date: 06/30/2025  
Task Last Updated: 02/13/2019 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Downs, Meghan  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  1415 Ivory Crossing Ct 
Seabrook , TX 77586-4145 
Phone: 281-483-0863  
Congressional District: 36 
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Abercromby, Andrew  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Ade, Carl  Ph.D. Kansas State University 
Barstow, Thomas  Ph.D. Kansas State University 
Feiveson, Alan  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Martin, David  M.S. Wyle Laboratories, Inc./NASA Johnson Space Center 
Ryder, Jeffrey  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Internal Project 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Norsk, Peter  
Center Contact: 
Solicitation: 2017 HERO 80JSC017N0001-BPBA Topics in Biological, Physiological, and Behavioral Adaptations to Spaceflight. Appendix C 
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project 
Project Type: FLIGHT 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
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Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Aerobic:Risk of Reduced Physical Performance Capabilities Due to Reduced Aerobic Capacity
(2) Arrhythmia:Risk of Cardiac Rhythm Problems
(3) Muscle:Risk of Impaired Performance Due to Reduced Muscle Mass, Strength and Endurance
(4) Nutrition:Risk of Inadequate Nutrition
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) CV01:What are the in-flight alterations in cardiac structure and function?
(2) CV02:What is VO2max in-flight and immediately post-flight?
(3) M02:Characterize in-flight and post-flight muscle performance (IRP Rev F)
(4) M23:Determine if factors other than unloading contribute to muscle atrophy during space flight (IRP Rev F)
(5) N7.1:We need to identify the most important nutritional factors for musculoskeletal health (IRP Rev E)
(6) N7.2:We need to identify the most important nutritional factors for cardiovascular health (IRP Rev E)
Task Description: Quantification of astronauts' changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle performance and size in parallel with monitoring of pre and in-flight lifestyle habits (i.e., exercise training, nutritional intake, and sleep patterns) is needed to develop countermeasures and technologies for monitoring and mitigating crew health and performance risks during exploration class missions. The research proposed herein will temporally profile changes in astronauts' cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle mass, strength, and endurance over the course of spaceflight missions ranging from 2 months, 6 months, and up to 1 year in duration. Additionally, a statistical based extrapolation will provide predictions for changes associated with exploration missions 2-3 years in duration. To accomplish these objectives, lower and upper body muscle strength, power, and endurance will be measured using a well validated test battery consisting of leg extension, leg press, isokinetic, bench press tests, and isometric mid-thigh pull test. Muscle size will be assessed pre, in, and post-flight using well validated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging techniques. Cardiorespiratory fitness and related parameters will be tested pre, in, and post-flight using traditional VO2peak test and critical power test protocols paired with non-invasive assessments of oxygen consumption, cerebral and muscle oxygenation and perfusion. Ambulatory and in-flight exercise, nutrition, and sleep will be monitored using a variety of commercial technologies and in-flight assessment tools. This proposal specifically addresses the temporal effects of spaceflight on changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle function, both critical parameters in maintaining the ability to perform mission critical tasks and enabling safe human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Integration of data collected during the pre and in-flight periods will lead to a better understanding of how to optimize exercise and non-exercise countermeasures to maintain crew health, safety, and performance during the exploration era.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2019 
Task Progress: New project for FY2019.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: )  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 None in FY 2019