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EXPERIMENT INFORMATION

Physiological Responses of the Astronaut (PR)
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Clinical medicine
Life support systems
Pulmonary physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Description
OBJECTIVES:
Project Mercury was designed and implemented to accomplish two broad objectives, the greatest of which was to safely place a human being into space. This included exposing the astronauts to complex stressors associated with space flight and collecting physiological data. Scientists were particularly interested in physiological responses to the acceleration-microgravity transition periods and the brief periods of weightlessness. In addition to collecting physiological data, additional flight objectives were to demonstrate the performance capability of the astronaut in space flight and to familiarize him with the space flight experience.

From an engineering standpoint, the flights were to demonstrate the reliability of complex launch and landing systems, space capsule and life support systems. Each successive flight would demonstrate the reliability of these systems through a progressive buildup of tests and equipment.


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Publications
Anonymous. Results of the Third United States Manned Orbital Space Flight, October 3, 1962. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 23-36. NASA SP-12. [NTRS]

Augerson WS, Laughlin CP. Physiological responses of the astronaut in the MR-3 flight. In: Conference on the Medical Results of the First US Manned Suborbital Space Flight. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 1961:71-85. NASA Technical Memorandum TM-X-68523.

Berry CA, Minners HA, McCutcheon, Pollard RA. Aeromedical analysis. In: Results of the Third U.S. Manned Orbital Space Flight, October 3, 1962. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 23-36. NASA SP-12. [NTRS]

Catterson AD, McCutcheon EP, Minners HA, Pollard RA. Aeromedical observations. In: Mercury Project Summary Including Results of the Fourth Manned Orbital Flight May 15 and 16, 1963. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 299-326. NASA SP-45. [NTRS]

Douglas, WK, Jackson CB Jr, Graybiel A, Riff G, Knoblock EC, Augerson WS, Laughlin CP. Results of the MR-4 preflight and postflight medical examination conducted on astronaut Virgil I. Grissom. In: Results of the Second U.S. Manned Suborbital Space Flight, July 21, 1961. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 1961:9-14.

Henry JP, Wheelwright CD. Bioinstrumentation in MR-3 flight. In: Conference on the Medical Results of the First US Manned Suborbital Space Flight. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 1961: 59-70. NASA Technical Memorandum TM-X-68523.

Jackson CB Jr, Douglas WK, Culver JF, Ruff G, Knoblock EC, Graybiel A. Results of preflight and postflight medical examinations. In: Conference on the Medical Results of the First US Manned Suborbital Space Flight. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 1961: 47-57. NASA Technical Memorandum TM-X-68523.

Johnston RS, Samonski FH Jr, Lippitt MW, Radnofsky MI. Life support and biomedical instrumentation. In: Results of the First U.S. Manned Orbital Space Flight. Houston TX: National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 31-44. NASA Technical Memorandum TM-108605.

Laughlin CP, Augerson WS. Physiological responses of the astronaut in the MR-4 space flight. In: Results of the Second U.S. Manned Suborbital Space Flight, July 21, 1961. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 1961: 15-21.

Laughlin CP, McCutcheon EP, Rapp RM, Morris DP, Augerson WA. Physiological responses of the astronaut. In: Results of the First U.S. Manned Orbital Space Flight. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 93-103. NASA Technical Memorandum TM-108605.

Leach CS. Review of endocrine results: Project Mercury, Gemini program, and Apollo program. NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States. Conference Paper. Aug 01, 1971.

McCutcheon EP, Berry CA, Kelly GF, Rapp RM, Hackworth R. Aeromedical studies. Section B. Physiological responses of the astronaut. In: Results of the Second U.S. Manned Orbital Space Flight, May 24, 1962. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 54-62. NASA SP-6. [NTRS]

Minners HA, Douglas WK, Knoblock EC, Graybiel A, Hawkins WR. Aeromedical preparation and results of postflight medical examinations. In: Results of the First U.S. Manned Orbital Space Flight. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 83-92. NASA Technical Memorandum TM-108605.

Minners HA, White SC, Douglas WK, Knoblock EC, Graybiel A. Aeromedical studies. Section A. Clinical aeromedical observations. In: Results of the Second U.S. Manned Orbital Space Flight, May 24, 1962. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 43-53. NASA SP-6. [NTRS]

Keywords
Blood chemical analysis
Cardiovascular physiology
Exercise test
Physiological adaptation
Respiration
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Photo Gallery
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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Parameters
Acetylcholine esterase : plasma
Albumin : serum
Albumin : urinary
Albumin/Globulin ratio : serum
Aldolase : plasma
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Mercury 3 05/05/1961 05/05/1961 15 minutes, 22 seconds
Mercury 4 07/21/1961 07/21/1961 15 minutes, 37 seconds
Mercury 6 02/20/1962 02/20/1962 4.9 hours
Mercury 7 05/24/1962 05/24/1962 4.9 hours
Mercury 8 10/03/1962 10/03/1962 9 hours, 13 minutes
Mercury 9 05/15/1963 05/16/1963 1.5 days

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)