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Autogenic-Feedback Training Exercise (AFTE) Mitigates the Effects of Spatial Disorientation to Simulated Orion Spacecraft Re-Entry: Individual DifferencesNASA has identified a potential risk of spatial disorientation to future astronauts during re-entry of the proposed Orion spacecraft. The purpose of this study was to determine if a 6-hour physiological training procedure, Autogenic-Feedback Training Exercise (AFTE), can mitigate these effects. Twenty subjects were assigned to two groups (AFTE and Control) matched for motion sickness susceptibility and gender. All subjects received a standard rotating chair test to determine motion sickness susceptibility; three training sessions on a manual performance task; and four exposures to a simulated Orion re-entry test in the rotating chair. Treatment subjects were given two hours of AFTE training before each Orion test. A diagnostic scale was used to evaluate motion sickness symptom severity. Results showed that 2 hours of AFTE significantly reduced motion sickness symptoms during the second Orion test. AFTE subjects were able to maintain lower heart rates and skin conductance levels and other responses than the control group subjects during subsequent tests. Trends show that performance was less degraded for AFTE subjects. The results of this study indicate that astronauts could benefit from receiving at least 2 hours of preflight AFTE. In addition, flight crews could benefit further by practicing physiologic self-regulation using mobile devices.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Cowings, Patricia S. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Toscano, William B. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Reschke, Millard F. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Gebreyesus, Fiyori (California Univ. San Diego, CA, United States)
Rocha, Christopher (San Jose State Univ. Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
July 7, 2017
Publication Date
May 1, 2017
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 516724.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
human performance
spatial disorientation
coriolis Acceleration
autonomic nervous system

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