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A Low-Intensity Mechanical Countermeasure to Prohibit Osteoporosis in Astronauts During Long-Term Spaceflight (ILSRA-2001-079)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Skeletal physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The osteoporosis which develops in microgravity, is one of the greatest hurdles to an extended human presence in space. Earth-based animal and human studies have demonstrated that extremely low magnitude mechanical loading, if imposed at a high frequency, is strongly anabolic to the skeleton, and can serve to inhibit the bone loss, which typically parallels disuse. This experiment is designed to evaluate the efficacy of this unique biomechanical countermeasure to inhibit the microgravity-induced osteoporosis. To achieve this in a non-invasive, non-pharmacologic means would have tremendous impact not only in space, but would also address the bone loss which plagues over 20 million people world wide each year on Earth.

The specific objectives of this experiment are:
1. To establish the efficacy of a 10-minute daily in-flight dose of high frequency (30Hz), low magnitude (0.3-G, or 3m s-2) mechanical acceleration to inhibit the loss of bone density in the lower appendicular and axial skeleton.
2. To establish the efficacy of this same stimulus to inhibit the loss of muscle strength and postural stability in the lower appendicular skeleton.

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Bone density
Quantitative computated tomography (QCT)

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.

Apparent density
Body mass
Bone mineral density (BMD)
Postural stability test
Pronation test
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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
Other Key People
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)
Alternate Experiment Name