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Effect of Spaceflight on Herpesvirus Genome Stability and Diversity (ISS_HSV)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Viral reactivation, especially of the Herpesviruses, is known to increase during space flight. At least four (Epstein Barr virus- EBV, Varicella zoster virus- VZV, Cytomegalovirus– CMV, and Herpes simplex virus 1 -HSV1) of the eight known human Herpesviruses are common life-long infections humans have shown to reactivated due to space flight. The fact that space flight is known to increase the frequency and duration of Herpesvirus reactivation sets up a biological environment for these reactivating and replicating viruses to mutate. Recently it has been shown that environmental factors such as diet and medications can alter the mutation rate and pathogenesis of human viruses, so it seems likely that effects of microgravity, radiation, and other physiological aspects of space flight may have a profound effect on the evolution of mutations and adaptations of the Herpesviruses during space flight.

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Immune system
Herpes Zoster/virology
Virus activation/physiology
Virus shedding/physiology

Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

Cortisol, urine
C-reactive protein, salivary
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA, saliva
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA, urine
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 50 10/28/2016 04/09/2017 164 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)