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Clinical Aspects of Crew Health (AP001)
Research Area:
Clinical medicine
Ocular physiological phenomena
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The primary goal of the Apollo Program was to land men on the moon. However, the physiological changes the astronauts experienced during the Gemini and Mercury programs raised concerns about the health and safety of future crews. One such concern was the high metabolic energy expenditure during extravehicular activity (EVA) during the Gemini missions. Another was the change in cardiopulmonary status as exhibited by decreased exercise capacity, loss of red blood cell mass, and cardiovascular deconditioning. These and other medical concerns led to establishing the following medical objectives for the Apollo Program:
  • Ensuring crew safety from a medical standpoint. This required that every effort be made to identify, eliminate, or minimize anything that posed a potential hazard to the crew.
  • Improving the probability of mission success by ensuring that sufficient medical information was available for management decisions.
  • Preventing back-contamination from the lunar surface.
  • Continuing the further understanding of the biomedical changes incident to space flight by detecting, documenting, and understanding the changes that occurred during space flight.

    There were also five additional objectives, which specifically defined the preflight medical goals of the Apollo program. They were:
    1) The discovery of latent illness during the process of selection of astronauts and preparation for missions.
    2) The implementation of the health stabilization program and other preventive measures.
    3) The determination of individual drug sensitivity to the contents of the Apollo medical kits.
    4) The collection of baseline data against which to compare postflight data for determination of space flight effects.
    5) The prevention of any situations that might delay or otherwise interfere with operational aspects of the missions.

    In-flight biotelemetry monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment were performed. Comparisons of pre- and postflight medical testing became the primary source of medical data for the Apollo program, since opportunities for in-flight medical investigations were severely restricted due to conflicts with primary operational objectives.

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  • Publications
    Anderson M, Rummel JA, Deutsch S. BIOSPEX: Biological Space Experiments, A Compendium of Life Science Experiments Carried on U. S. Spacecraft. Houston, TX: NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center; 1979:29. NASA-TM-58217. [NTRS]

    Berry CA. Medical legacy of Apollo. Aerospace Med. 1974;45(9):1046-1057.[]

    Berry CA. Medical results of Apollo 14 - Implications for longer duration space flights. International Astronautical Congress; 22nd; September 20-25, 1971; Brussels, Belgium.

    Berry CA. Preliminary Clinical Report of the Medical Aspects of Apollos 7 and 8. May 1969. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Houston, TX. NASA TM X-58027.

    Berry CA. Medical concerns of astronauts in Apollo 7 to 11 flights. 18th International Congress of Aerospace Medicine Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 18, 1969. NASA-TM-X-58034. [NTRS]

    Hawkins WR, Zieglschmid JF. Clinical aspects of crew health. Biomedical Results of Apollo. In: Johnson RS, Dietlein LF, Berry CA, eds. Washington, DC: NASA Headquarters; 1975:43-81. NASA SP-368. [NTRS]

    Lintott J, Costello MJ. Skylab Vectorcardiograph: System description and in flight operation. Houston, TX: NASA Johnson Space Center; 1975. NASA-TN-D-7997. [NTRS]

    Luczkowski SM. Bioinstrumentation. Biomedical Results of Apollo. In: Johnson RS, Dietlein LF, Berry CA, eds. Washington, DC: NASA Headquarters; 1975:485-493. NASA SP-368.[NTRS]

    Mann TW. Biomedical Recording System. Van Nuys, CA: Northrop Corporation, Electronics Division; 1969. NASA-CR-101978.

    Smith JR. Development of an Impedance Pneumograph. Final Report. Van Nuys, CA: Spacelabs, Inc; 1964. NASA-CR-56834.

    Spacelabs, Inc. Apollo Medical Experiments System, Final Report. Van Nuys, CA: Spacelabs, Inc.; 1968. NASA-CR-92348.

    Spacelabs, Inc. Apollo Medical ExperimentsSystem: Final report. Van Nuys, CA: Spacelabs, Inc; 1968. NASA-CR-92348.

    Webster JG, ed. Medical Instrumentation Application and Design. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company; 1978.

    Allergy and immunology
    Body weight
    Cardiovascular deconditioning
    Chemistry, clinical
    Dental care
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    Data Information
    Data Availability
    Archive is complete. Some data sets are online.
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    Some data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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    Iodine, protein bound
    Lipids, total
    Metabolic rate
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    Mission/Study Information
    Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
    Apollo 10 05/18/1969 05/26/1969 8 days
    Apollo 11 07/16/1969 07/24/1969 8 days
    Apollo 12 11/14/1969 11/24/1969 10 days
    Apollo 13 04/11/1970 04/17/1970 6 days
    Apollo 14 01/31/1971 02/09/1971 9 days
    Apollo 15 07/26/1971 08/07/1971 12 days
    Apollo 16 04/16/1972 04/27/1972 11 days
    Apollo 17 12/07/1972 12/19/1972 12 days
    Apollo 7 10/11/1968 10/22/1968 11 days
    Apollo 8 12/21/1968 12/27/1968 6 days
    Apollo 9 03/03/1969 03/13/1969 10 days

    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)