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SPACE-COT: Studying the Physiological and Anatomical Cerebral Effects of Carbon Dioxide and Tilt (NCC958SMST00008)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Smart Medical Systems and Technology Team
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) and body tilt on brain physiology in a ground-based analog of space flight. The goal was to develop a quantitative approach to measuring an individual’s brain physiological response to CO2 and fluid shifting, using modern and innovative technologies. These results will allow for precise monitoring of an individual astronaut's response to CO2 and fluid shifting given the Visual Impairment Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) syndrome may be related to these factors. This approach may also be applicable to patients on Earth with neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain hemorrhages, or hydrocephalus.

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Marshall-Goebel K, Mulder E, Donoviel D, Strangman G, Suarez JI, Rao CV, et al. An international collaboration studying the physiological and anatomical cerebral effects of carbon dioxide during head-down tilt bed rest: the SPACECOT study. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2017. June 1; 122(6):1398–405.

Strangman GE, Zhang Q, Marshall-Goebel K, Mulder E, Stevens B, Clark JB, and Bershad EM. Increased cerebral blood volume pulsatility during head-down tilt with elevated carbon dioxide: The SPACE-COT Study. Journal of Applied Physiology (1985). 2017. July 1;123(1):62-70.

Kramer LA, Hasan KM, Sargsyan AE, Marshall-Goebel K, Rittweger J, Donoviel D, Higashi S, Mwangi B, Gerlach DA, and Bershad EM. Quantitative MRI volumetry, diffusivity, cerebrovascular flow and cranial hydrodynamics during head down tilt and hypercapnia: The SPACECOT study. Journal of Applied Physiology (1985). 2017. May 1; 122(5):1155-1166.

Marshall-Goebel K, Stevens B, Rao CV, Suarez JI, Calvillo E, Arbeille P, Sangi-Haghpeykar H, Donoviel DB, Mulder E, Bershad EM. Internal jugular vein volume during head-down tilt and carbon dioxide exposure in the SPACECOT study. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. 2018. April; 89(4):351-6. [DOI]

Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Fluid shifts
Intracranial pressure
Head Down Tilt

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Body tilt
Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels
Carbon dioxide (CO2) response
Cerebral blood flow
Fluid shifts

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:

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Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Directed Research