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Anthropometric changes and fluid shiftsSeveral observations of body size, shape, posture, and configuration were made to document changes resulting from direct effects of weightlessness during the Skylab 4 mission. After the crewmen were placed in orbit, a number of anatomical and anthropometric changes occurred including a straightening of the thoracolumbar spine, a general decrease in truncal girth, and an increase in height. By the time of the earliest in-flight measurement on mission day 3, all crewmen had lost more than two liters of extravascular fluid from the calf and thigh. The puffy facies, the bird legs effect, the engorgement of upper body veins, and the reduced volume of lower body veins were all documented with photographs. Center-of-mass measurements confirmed a fluid shift cephalad. This shift remained throughout the mission until recovery, when a sharp reversal occurred; a major portion of the reversal was completed in a few hours. The anatomical changes are of considerable scientific interest and of import to the human factors design engineer, but the shifts of blood and extravascular fluid are of more consequence. It is hypothesized that the driving force for the fluid shift is the intrinsic and unopposed lower limb elasticity that forces venous blood and then other fluid cephalad.
Document ID
19750006319
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Thornton, W. E.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Hoffler, G. W.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Rummel, J. A.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 8, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1974
Publication Information
Publication: Proc. of the Skylab Life Sci. Symp., Vol. 2
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19750006309Analytic PrimaryThe Proceedings of the Skylab Life Sciences Symposium, volume 2