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Space Biology and MedicineVolume IV is devoted to examining the medical and associated organizational measures used to maintain the health of space crews and to support their performance before, during, and after space flight. These measures, collectively known as the medical flight support system, are important contributors to the safety and success of space flight. The contributions of space hardware and the spacecraft environment to flight safety and mission success are covered in previous volumes of the Space Biology and Medicine series. In Volume IV, we address means of improving the reliability of people who are required to function in the unfamiliar environment of space flight as well as the importance of those who support the crew. Please note that the extensive collaboration between Russian and American teams for this volume of work resulted in a timeframe of publication longer than originally anticipated. Therefore, new research or insights may have emerged since the authors composed their chapters and references. This volume includes a list of authors' names and addresses should readers seek specifics on new information. At least three groups of factors act to perturb human physiological homeostasis during space flight. All have significant influence on health, psychological, and emotional status, tolerance, and work capacity. The first and most important of these factors is weightlessness, the most specific and radical change in the ambient environment; it causes a variety of functional and structural changes in human physiology. The second group of factors precludes the constraints associated with living in the sealed, confined environment of spacecraft. Although these factors are not unique to space flight, the limitations they entail in terms of an uncomfortable environment can diminish the well-being and performance of crewmembers in space. The third group of factors includes the occupational and social factors associated with the difficult, critical nature of the crewmembers' work: the risks involved in space flight, changes in circadian rhythms, and intragroup interactions. The physical and emotional stress and fatigue that develop under these conditions also can disturb human health and performance. In addition to these factors, the risk also exists that crewmembers will develop various illnesses during flight. The risk of illness is no less during space flight than on Earth, and may actually be greater for some classes of diseases.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Book Chapter
Dietlein, Lawrence F.
(NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Pestov, Igor D.
(Academy of Sciences (Russia) Moscow, Russian Federation)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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