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Bone and Lean Body Mass Changes Following Spaceflight (284029 2_3)
Research Area:
Bone and calcium physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Macaca mulatta Species: Monkey Strain: Rhesus


Loss of bone mineral mass (bone mineral density - BMD) due to microgravity exposure occurs primarily in the lumbar vertebrae, the proximal segment of the femoral bone, and the pelvic bone. BMD loss tends to develop in areas with a large percentage of trabecular (spongy) bone. BMD has not been observed to decrease in the upper body, such as the skull, arms, and ribs. No direct correlation between BMD and bone strength has been observed. This has made it difficult to predict the level of osteopenia an individual will experience during space flight. This experiment will examine 1) whether exposure to microgravity causes changes in the mass and structure of trabecular and cortical bone, and 2) whether postflight changes in the skeletal bone status can be examined by measuring the ultrasound propagation speed.

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Oganov, V.S. et al.: Change and Recovery of Bone Mass and Acoustic Properties of Rhesus Monkeys after Bion 11 Spaceflight. Journal of Gravitational Physiology, vol. 7(1), Jan 2000, pp. S163-S168.

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Activity, enzymic, Alkaline phosphatase, blood, primate, Analyzer
Composition, Body, whole, primate
Content , PYP crosslinks, urine, primate, Assay
Content, Calcium, in blood, primate, Clinical laboratory
Content, Calcium, in urine, primate, Clinical chemistry
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Bion 11 12/24/1996 01/07/1997 13.5 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Ames Research Center LSDA Level 3
Project Manager: Martha Del Alto
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Protocol / Approach
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Hardware Items