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Evaluation of Neutral Body Posture on Shuttle Mission STS-57 (SPACEHAB-1)Research has shown that the space environment induces physiological changes in the human body, such as fluid shifts in the upper body and chest cavity, spinal lengthening, muscular atrophy, space motion sickness, cardiopulmonary deconditioning, and bone mass loss, as well as some changes in visual perception. These require a period of adaptation and can substantially affect both crew member performance and posture. These physiological effects, when work activities are conducted, have been known to impact the body's center of gravity, reach, flexibility, and dexterity. All these aspects of posture must be considered to safely and efficiently design space systems and hardware. NASA has documented its microgravity body posture in the Man-Systems Integration Standards (MSIS); the space community uses the MSIS posture to design workstations and tools for space application. However, the microgravity body posture should be further investigated for several reasons, including small sample size in previous studies, possible imprecision, and lack of detail. JSC undertook this study to investigate human body posture exhibited under microgravity conditions. STS-57 crew members were instructed to assume a relaxed posture that was not oriented to any work area or task. Crew members were asked to don shorts and tank tops and to be blindfolded while data were recorded. Video data were acquired once during the mission from each of the six crew members. No one crew member exhibited the typical NBP called out in the MSIS; one composite posture is not adequate. A range of postures may be more constructive for design purposes. Future evaluations should define precise posture requirements for workstation, glove box, maintenance, foot-restraint, and handhold activities.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Mount, Frances E.
(National Space Biomedical Research Inst. Houston, TX, United States)
Whitmore, Mihriban
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Stealey, Sheryl L.
(Johnson Engineering Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2003
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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