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Sweat Rates during Continuous and Interval Aerobic Exercise: Implications for NASA Multipurpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) Missions (Sweat_Rates)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Aerobic deconditioning is one of the effects of space flight. Missions longer than eight days will involve exercise countermeasures including those aimed at preventing the loss of aerobic capacity. The NASA Multipurpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) will be NASA’s centerpiece architecture for human space exploration that targets destinations beyond low Earth orbit. Aerobic exercise within the small habitable volume of the MPCV is expected to challenge the ability of the environmental control systems, especially in terms of moisture control. The limitation of the environmental control system as it relates to dealing with exercise is currently humidity control as opposed to maintenance of oxygen or carbon dioxide content. In its current configuration the limitation to exercise protocols and intensities will be moisture production. Exercising humans contribute moisture to the environment by increased respiratory rate (exhaling air at 100% humidity) and sweat. Current acceptable values are based on theoretical models that rely on an “average” crewmember working continuously at 75% of their aerobic capacity. Evidence suggests that high intensity interval exercise for much shorter durations are equally effective or better in building and maintaining aerobic capacity. This investigation examined sweat and respiratory rates for operationally relevant continuous and interval aerobic exercise protocols using a variety of different individuals.

This study had the following specific aims:

  1. Determine if aerobic exercise protocols involving different intensities and total workloads elicit different moisture loads during exercise and 30 minutes thereafter.
  2. Identify which aerobic exercise protocols are compatible with planned MPCV environmental control capabilities.
  3. Be able to provide MPCV project with real world exercise-induced moisture production numbers so that available options to optimize environmental controls can be made.

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Exercise test

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)
Moisture production, total
Oxygen consumption
Respiratory water rate
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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: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2014-15 HERO NNJ14ZSA001N