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Recovery of Functional Performance Following Long Duration Space Flight (Field_Test)
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Astronauts experience alterations in multiple physiological systems due to exposure to the microgravity conditions of space flight. These physiological changes include, among others, sensorimotor disturbances, cardiovascular deconditioning, and loss of muscle mass and strength. Changes in these systems clearly lead to disruption in the ability to ambulate and perform functional tasks during the initial reintroduction to a gravitational environment following a prolonged weightless transit and may cause significant impairments in performance of operational tasks immediately following landing on a planetary surface. Severe impairments may lead to loss of mission. To date changes in functional performance have been systematically studied for short-duration space flights and has recently begun on the long duration International Space Station (ISS) space flights. As important as these observed postflight functional changes have been, responses within hours following landing and a recovery time constant beginning as near to the time of landing as possible through full functional recovery has never been investigated or established for long-duration flights. The objective of this study is to address this gap in knowledge, allowing investigators to understand the impact on functional performance on tasks that are representative of critical mission requirements that the crews of exploratory missions will be expected to perform after an unassisted landing following flights from 6 to 12 months in duration. Findings from this investigation will provide the information needed for planning future Mars, or other deep space missions, with unassisted landings, including water landings.

The primary goal of this study is to determine functional performance in long duration space flight crews beginning as soon after landing as possible with one to three immediate follow-up measurements on the day of landing. This goal has both sensorimotor and cardiovascular elements including an evaluation of NASA’s new Gradient Compression Garment (GCG) and the Russian traditional Kentavr garment.

Specific Aims:

  1. Quantify functional performance from measurements on long duration crewmembers taken as close in time to landing as possible.
  2. Develop a recovery timeline of functional performance on long-duration crewmembers.
  3. Determine the efficacy of U.S. and Russian compression garments as countermeasures for alleviating orthostatic intolerance.

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Kolev OI and Reschke MF. Internally versus externally mediated triggers in the acquisition of visual targets in the horizontal plane. Behavioural Brain Research. 2014. June. 1; 266:131-6. []

Blood pressure
Heart rate
Intracranial pressure
Intraocular pressure
Reaction time
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

95 percent circle sway area
95 percent ellipse sway area
Abdomen circumference
Ankle circumference
Blood pressure
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 42 11/10/2014 03/11/2015 121 days
Expedition 43 03/11/2015 06/10/2015 91 days
Expedition 44 06/10/2015 09/11/2015 93 days
Expedition 45 09/11/2015 12/11/2015 91 days
Expedition 46 12/11/2015 03/02/2016 82 days
Expedition 47 03/02/2016 06/18/2016 108 days
Expedition 48 06/18/2016 09/06/2016 80 days
Expedition 49 09/06/2016 10/30/2016 54 days
Expedition 50 10/28/2016 04/09/2017 164 days
Expedition 51 04/09/2017 06/02/2017 55 days
Expedition 52 06/02/2017 09/02/2017 92 days
Expedition 53 09/02/2017 12/14/2017 102 days
Expedition 54 12/14/2017 02/27/2018 75 days
Expedition 55 02/27/2018 06/03/2018 96 days
Expedition 56 06/03/2018 10/04/2018 123 days

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at:

+ Click here for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.

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)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Directed Research