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Retrospective Analysis of Inflight Exercise Loading and Health Outcomes (Inflight_Loading)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Astronauts perform treadmill exercise during long-duration space missions to counter the harmful effects of microgravity exposure upon bone, muscle, and cardiopulmonary health. When exercising in microgravity, astronauts wear a harness and bungee system that provides forces that maintain attachment to the treadmill. Typical applied forces are less than body weight. The current exercise devices on the International Space Station (ISS) allow astronauts to complete prescriptions at higher intensities which potentially allow for greater exercise benefits with increased efficiency. However, although overall health outcomes have improved, the specific factors related to increased benefits have yet to be determined.

This study had the following specific aims:

  1. Quantify the exercise-related mechanical loading experienced by crewmembers during their mission on the ISS.
  2. Explore relationships between exercise loading variables, bone, and muscle health changes during the mission.
  3. Determine if specific mechanical loading variables are more critical than others in protecting health.
  4. Develop methodology for operational use in monitoring crew exercise programs.

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Body weight
Bone density
Exercise test
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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Areal bone mineral density (aBMD), femoral head
Areal bone mineral density (aBMD), left trochanter
Areal bone mineral density (aBMD), lumbar spine
Bungee configuration
Distance jogged, miles
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

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: Eric Gallagher
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Directed Research