Skip to page content Mission Information


SPACE-CENT: Studying the Physiological and Anatomical Cerebral Effects of CENTrifugation and Head Down Tilt Bed Rest (NNX17AE04G)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Ocular physiological phenomena
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Exposure to microgravity results in multiple physiological and anatomical changes, some of which alter brain and ocular physiology and structure. More than half of astronauts exposed to long-duration spaceflight present with symptoms of the visual impairment and intracranial pressure (VIIP) syndrome, but the etiology and long-term implications of these changes are unknown. Identifying the pathophysiological mechanisms and developing an effective countermeasure for the spaceflight-induced adverse physiological effects related to fluid redistribution and VIIP syndrome is a NASA priority due to the high-risk potential on mission success.

This experiment will investigate the effects of a 60-day exposure to simulated microgravity using 6° head down tilt bedrest (HDBR) on the cerebral, ocular and vestibular systems with and without the intervention of intermittent artificial gravity (AG). Our overarching objective is to reveal the effects of HDBR-induced headward fluid shifts as well as the reversal of these hydrostatic pressure gradients with AG using innovative, integrated techniques to provide novel insights into the physiological adaptations during simulated microgravity.

This experiment aims to:

1. determine the between-group effects of 60 days HDBR alone versus HDBR with AG (2 different regimens) on the cerebral, ocular, and sensorimotor systems
2. determine the within-group effects of the experimental conditions (60 days HDBR +/- AG) on the cerebral, ocular and sensorimotor systems compared to pre HDBR baseline
3. Assess the within and between group transient effects of AG (intervention groups) on cerebral and ocular systems using non-invasive technologies in the peri-centrifuge period

++ -- View more

Ocular physiological phenomena
Ocular physiology
Vision, ocular
Visual acuity
++ -- View more

Anterior chamber depth
Axial length
Balance control
Carbon dioxide level
++ -- View more

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: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2015-16 HERO NNJ15ZSA001N