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Injury Rate of Shuttle Astronauts (LSAHNEWSV8_2_1)
Research Area:
Clinical medicine
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Astronauts must undergo rigorous training to prepare for a mission. This training involves not only general physical fitness, but also specific mission-related tasks (e.g., extravehicular activity). It is reasonable to expect an increased rate of injuries, especially musculoskeletal ones, as compared to outside the training period because of the elevated level of physical activity. In addition, the postflight injury rate of astronauts is also of interest, as astronauts will most certainly be in a state of marked deconditioning after prolonged weightlessness. Such suboptimal physical status, when combined with the physiologic changes that occur inflight, may contribute to astronaut injuries involving the musculoskeletal system. Longer periods of spaceflight induce even greater changes. Undoubtedly, such changes will become more problematic as manned spaceflight increases in duration on of the International Space Station.

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Injury Rate of Shuttle Astronauts. In: Longitudinal Study of Astronaut Health Newsletter. December 1999;8(2):1.

Wounds and injuries

Injury rates

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
LSAH 01/01/1989 05/31/2010 21 years

Additional Information
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)