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Standardized Pre-flight Exercise Tests to Predict Performance during Extravehicular Activities in a Lunar Environment (NNX10AK60G)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The original Apollo missions and more recent extravehicular activities on the International Space Station (ISS) have provided basic information that can be applied to activities that may occur during future long-duration lunar missions. However, despite these previous efforts, significant gaps remain in the understanding of the more complex physiological costs of different activities in a true lunar environment. Recently a ground-based simulation of a 10-kilometer Lunar Walkback was conducted to better understand the physical capabilities of a suited astronaut in partial gravity. Unfortunately, this study was limited because of the use of a stationary treadmill that did not accurately simulate the lunar environment (i.e. landscape and terrain). To date this overall lack of physiologic data collected during true lunar activities or their accurate simulation has limited the ability of NASA physicians and scientists to predict if an astronaut candidate is physically capable of completing the multiple lunar activities that may be required during long-duration missions.

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Ade CJ, Broxterman RM, Craig JC, Schlup SJ, Wilcox SL, and Barstow TJ. Upper body aerobic exercise as a possible predictor of lower body performance. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. 2015. July; 86(7):599-605. [DOI]

Broxterman RM, Ade CJ, Craig JC, Wilcox SL, Schlup SJ, and Barstow TJ. Influence of blood flow occlusion on muscle oxygenation characteristics and the parameters of the power-duration relationship. Journal of Applied Physiology. (1985). 2015. April 1; 118(7):880-9. []

Broxterman RM, Ade CJ, Craig JC, Wilcox SL, Schlup SJ, and Barstow TJ. The relationship between critical speed and the respiratory compensation point: Coincidence or equivalence. European Journal of Sport Science. 2014. October 13:1-9. []

Broxterman RM, Craig JC, Ade CJ, Wilcox SL, and Barstow TJ. The effect of resting blood flow occlusion on exercise tolerance and W'. American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology. 2015. July 29:ajpregu.00283.

Ade CJ, Broxterman RM, and Barstow TJ. VO(2max) and microgravity exposure: Convective versus diffusive O2 transport. Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise. 2015. July; 47(7):1351-61.

Ade CJ, Broxterman RM, Craig JC, Schlup SJ, Wilcox SL, and Barstow TJ. Relationship between simulated extravehicular activity tasks and measurements of physical performance. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology. 2014. November 1; 203:19-27.

Broxterman RM, Craig JC, Smith JR, Wilcox SL, Jia C, Warren S, and Barstow TJ. Influence of blood flow occlusion on the development of peripheral and central fatigue during small muscle mass handgrip exercise. The Journal of Physiology. 2015. September 1; 593(17):4043-54.

Task performance and analysis
Extravehicular activity

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

Arm cranking
Critical power (CP)
Critical speed (CS)
Gas exchange threshold (GET)
Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)
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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
2009 Crew Health NNJ09ZSA002N