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Acoustic Diagnostics (Acoustic_Diagnostics)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human



Microgravity presents a potential risk to astronauts’ hearing due to its noisy environment. Suitable countermeasures and effective protective devices need to be developed to deal with this risk. This study will provide an understanding of hearing physiology and clarify the effects microgravity has on hearing. Testing will be accomplished preflight, inflight, and postflight using various tests including Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) testing and psychoacoustic tests, such as ABR, tone audiometry, and impedance tests. Customized hardware will also be used to quickly conduct high frequency-resolution OAE measurements utilizing three different techniques: transient-evoked, distortion product, and stimulus-frequency OAEs.

The goal of this testing is to identify any changes in the functionality of the astronauts’ hearing in microgravity for application to ISS or any long duration missions. This data can also be applied to clinical and occupational health settings.

The potential risk for transitory or permanent effects of microgravity and noise during long term missions has to be assessed in order to evaluate the need for suitable countermeasures and protective devices. These experiments will also have an impact on the basic understanding of the physiology of hearing, clarifying the effect of microgravity on the fluids of the delicate cochlear mechanisms. The development of a sensitive and portable OAE measurement device will find important applications in the clinical and occupational health practice.

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Acoustic stimulation

Auditory cues
Auditory latency
Auditory threshold

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 60 06/24/2019 10/03/2019 101 days
Expedition 61 10/03/2019 In progress

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Eric Gallagher
Institutional Support
Italian Space Agency (ASI)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source