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Joint U.S./Russian Investigations: Sensory-Motor Investigations (SMI) (DSO 201)
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

During space flight, space motion sickness (SMS) and perceptual disturbances have led to reductions in performance efficiency and sense of well-being. During entry and immediately after landing, such disturbances could have a serious impact on the ability of the commander to land the Orbiter, as well as on the abilities of all crewmembers to egress from the Orbiter, particularly in a non-nominal condition or following extended stays in microgravity. An understanding of spatial orientation and motion perception is essential for developing countermeasures for SMS and perceptual disturbances during space flight and upon return to Earth. Countermeasures for optimal performance in-flight and a successful return to Earth require the development of preflight and in-flight training to help astronauts acquire and maintain a dual adaptive state.

This study was intended to enhance the understanding of adaptation to space flight and readaptation after flight on various aspects of human spatial orientation, neurosensory, sensory-motor, physiological, and perceptual functions and on autonomic gastric functions associated with space motion sickness (SMS). This experiment correlated the postflight recovery of postural equilibrium control, head and gaze stability, readaptation changes in vestibular function, and examined the relationship between voluntary oculomotor performance and passive vestibulo-ocular responses following space flight. Changes in stomach nerve response to food consumption over the first few days of flight were to be observed and analyzed, and evaluated when SMS symptoms occurred. The investigators were also interested in how nerve activity correlated with the symptoms before, during, and after their occurrence.

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Harm DL, Sandoz GR, Jacobsen CR, Hanish HM, Loughry M. Portable ECG/EGG Data Recorder. Houston TX: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center; 2000 Jul. NASA Technical Brief, Electronic Components and Systems Vol 24 MSC-22677.

Harm DL, Sandoz GR, Stern RM, Koch KL, Koslovskya I. Gastric dysrhythmias associated with space motion sickness. Presented at the International Workshop on Motion Sickness - Medical and Human Factors. Marbella, Andalucia, Spain, May 26-28, 1997, pp. 47-49.

Harm DL, Sandoz GR, Stern RM. Changes in Gastric Myoelectric Activity During Space Flight. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2002 Aug; 47(8):1737-1745.[]

Spatial behavior
Perceptual distortion
Digestive physiology
Space motion sickness (SMS)

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Data Information
Data Availability
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Apparent target
Autonomic gastric functions
Cycles per minute - nausea
Cycles per minute - vomiting
Data type
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-60 02/03/1994 02/11/1994 8 days
STS-63 02/03/1995 02/11/1995 8 days
STS-71 06/27/1995 07/07/1995 10 days

Additional Information
Other Key People
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
DSO 201A
DSO 201B
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