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International Space Station Medical OperationsNASA is currently the leader, in conjunction with our Russian counterpart co-leads, of the Multilateral Medical Policy Board (MMPB), the Multilateral Medical Operations Panel (MMOP), which coordinates medical system support for International Space Station (ISS) crews, and the Multilateral Space Medicine Board (MSMB), which medically certifies all crewmembers for space flight on-board the ISS. These three organizations have representatives from NASA, RSA-IMBP (Russian Space Agency- Institute for Biomedical Problems), GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center), ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japanese Space Agency), and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). The policy and strategic coordination of ISS medical operations occurs at this level, and includes interactions with MMOP working groups in Radiation Health, Countermeasures, Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), Informatics, Environmental Health, Behavioral Health and Performance, Nutrition, Clinical Medicine, Standards, Post-flight Activities and Rehabilitation, and Training. Each ISS Expedition has a lead Crew Surgeon from NASA and a Russian Crew Surgeon from GCTC assigned to the mission. Day-to-day issues are worked real-time by the flight surgeons and biomedical engineers (also called the Integrated Medical Group) on consoles at the MCC (Mission Control Center) in Houston and the TsUP (Center for Flight Control) in Moscow/Korolev. In the future, this may also include mission control centers in Europe and Japan, when their modules are added onto the ISS. Private medical conferences (PMCs) are conducted regularly and upon crew request with the ISS crew via private audio and video communication links from the biomedical MPSR (multipurpose support room) at MCC Houston. When issues arise in the day-to-day medical support of ISS crews, they are discussed and resolved at the SMOT (space medical operations team) meetings, which occur weekly among the International Partners. Any medical or life science issue that is not resolved at the SMOT can be taken to the Mission Management Team meeting, which occurs biweekly from MCC-Houston. This meeting includes the other International Partners and all flight support and console position representatives via teleconference. ISS Crew Surgeons have handled many medical conditions on orbit; including skin rashes, dental abscesses, lacerations, and STT segment EKG changes. Fortunately to date, there have not been any forced medical evacuations from the ISS. This speaks well for the implementation of the primary, secondary and even tertiary prevention strategies invoked by the Integrated Medical Group, as there were several medical evacuations during the previous Russian space stations.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Jones, Jeffrey A.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2008
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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