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Risk Assessment of Bone Fracture During Space Exploration Missions to the Moon and MarsThe possibility of a traumatic bone fracture in space is a concern due to the observed decrease in astronaut bone mineral density (BMD) during spaceflight and because of the physical demands of the mission. The Bone Fracture Risk Module (BFxRM) was developed to quantify the probability of fracture at the femoral neck and lumbar spine during space exploration missions. The BFxRM is scenario-based, providing predictions for specific activities or events during a particular space mission. The key elements of the BFxRM are the mission parameters, the biomechanical loading models, the bone loss and fracture models and the incidence rate of the activity or event. Uncertainties in the model parameters arise due to variations within the population and unknowns associated with the effects of the space environment. Consequently, parameter distributions were used in Monte Carlo simulations to obtain an estimate of fracture probability under real mission scenarios. The model predicts an increase in the probability of fracture as the mission length increases and fracture is more likely in the higher gravitational field of Mars than on the moon. The resulting probability predictions and sensitivity analyses of the BFxRM can be used as an engineering tool for mission operation and resource planning in order to mitigate the risk of bone fracture in space.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lewandowski, Beth E.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Myers, Jerry G.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Nelson, Emily S.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Griffin, Devon
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
February 26, 2008
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Space Systems Engineering and Risk Management Symposium(Los Angeles, CA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 444543.01.02.01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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