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Biostereometric Analysis of Body Form (SKYFORM)
Research Area:
Muscle physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Biostereometrics is the science of measuring, and describing in mathematical terms, the three-dimensional form of biological objects. Exposure to weightlessness results in a dramatic change in the patterns of muscular activity in the human body insofar as they control posture and are responsible for locomotion. These changes in muscular activity might be expected to result in changes in the bulk of particular muscle groups, and in the overall energy consumption of the body, which, unless accompanied by a compensating change in food intake, would cause a change in body fat. Biostereometric analysis of the Skylab crewmembers enabled changes in muscle bulk to be measured, and by examining those areas of the body containing fat deposits enabled general conclusions to be drawn about changes in each Skylab crewmember's body fat.

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Whittle MW, Herron R, Cuzzi J. Chapter 22: Biostereometric analysis of body form. In: Johnston RS, Dietlein LF, eds. Biomedical Results from Skylab. Washington, DC: NASA Headquarters; 1977:198-202. NASA SP-377. [NTRS]

Whittle MW, Herron RE, Cuzzi JR. Biostereometric analysis of body form: the second manned Skylab mission. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1976 Apr;47(4):410-2.[]

Whittle MW. The effects of prolonged spaceflight on human body composition [thesis]. Surrey, England: University of Surrey; 1978.

Whittle MW. Caloric and exercise requirements of space flight: biostereometric results from Skylab. Aviat. Space Environ. Med. 1979 Feb;50(2):162-7.[]

Body composition
Body surface area
Body weight
Bone density
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Data Information
Data Availability
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Body composition: bone mineral
Body composition: cell solids
Body composition: fat
Body composition: water
Body density
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Skylab 2 05/25/1973 06/22/1973 28 days
Skylab 3 07/28/1973 09/25/1973 59.5 days
Skylab 4 11/16/1973 02/08/1974 84 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Hardware Items