Skip to page content Mission Information


Methods for the Assessment of Gastrointestinal Physiology and Function in a Lunar Analog Environment (SmartPill)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Gastrointestinal physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The overall goal of this research is to examine the effects of microgravity analog environments on gastrointestinal (GI) physiology. The specific objective of this modified protocol was to conduct a feasibility study to examine and validate new technology, SmartPill® as a tool to assess the effect of head-down tilt (HDT), the lunar bed rest analog on GI physiology. This test was conducted to investigate the usefulness of this technology for estimating GI motility decrements in a reduced-gravity simulation environment.

This study was conducted at the Flight Analogs Research Unit (FARU) located at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. Subjects were recruited, screened, and, if approved, placed in a bed rest facility for testing and data collection during 13 days of ambulatory acclimation, 30 days of 6-degree HDT bed rest, and 14 days of ambulatory recovery.

++ -- View more

Gastrointestinal system

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
Data Sets+ Request data

Antrum pressure contraction patterns
Body temperature
Duodenum pressure contraction patterns
GI transit time
Large-bowel transit time
++ -- View more

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
HDT30 10/13/2009 05/13/2010 213 days

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)
Alternate Experiment Name
Hardware Items