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Cardiovascular, renal, electrolyte, and hormonal changes in man during gravitational stress, weightlessness, and simulated weightlessness: Lower body positive pressure applied by the antigravity suitBecause of their erect posture, humans are more vulnerable to gravitational changes than any other animal. During standing or walking man must constantly use his antigravity muscles and his two columns, his legs, to balance against the force of gravity. At the same time, blood is surging downward to the dependent portions of the body, draining blood away from the brain and heart, and requiring a series of complex cardiovascular adjustments to maintain the human in a bipedal position. It was not until 12 April 1961, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to orbit Earth, that we could confirm man's ability to maintain vital functions in space -- at least for 90 min. Nevertheless, man's adaptation to weightlessness entails the deconditioning of various organs in the body. Muscles atrophy, and calcium loss leads to loss of bone strength as the demands on the musculoskeletal system are almost nonexistent in weightlessness. Because of the lack of hydrostatic pressures in space, blood rushes to the upper portions of the body, initiating a complex series of cardioregulatory responses. Deconditioning during spaceflight, however, first becomes a potentially serious problem in humans returning to Earth, when the cardiovascular system, muscles and bones are suddenly exposed to the demanding counterforce of gravity -- weight. One of the main purposes of our studies was to test the feasibility of using Lower Body Positive Pressure, applied with an antigravity suit, as a new and alternative technique to bed rest and water immersion for studying cardioregulatory, renal, electrolyte, and hormonal changes in humans. The results suggest that Lower Body Positive Pressure can be used as an analog of microgravity-induced physiological responses in humans.
Document ID
Document Type
Kravik, Stein E.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1989
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:102232
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 199-18-12-01
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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