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MISSION/STUDY INFORMATION

Mission or Study ID:   Apollo 14
Program:
Apollo
Spacecraft/Location:
Saturn V
Launch/Start Date:
01/31/1971
Landing/End Date:
02/09/1971
Duration:
9 days
Apollo 14 Crew Patch

Description
After landing in the Fra Mauro region -- the original destination for Apollo 13 -- Commander Alan B. Shepard; and Lunar Module Pilot, Edgar D. Mitchell made two Moonwalks, adding new seismic studies to the by-now familiar Apollo experiment package and used a 'lunar rickshaw' pull-cart to carry their equipment. A planned rock-collecting trip to the 1,000-foot-wide Cone Crater was dropped, however, when the astronauts had trouble finding their way around the lunar surface. Although later estimates showed that they had made it to within 30.48 meters of the crater's rim, the explorers had become disoriented in the alien landscape. Command Module Pilot, Stuart A. Roosa, meanwhile, took pictures from on board command module 'Kitty Hawk' in lunar orbit. On the way back to Earth, the crew conducted the first U.S. materials processing experiments in space.

The crewmembers were monitored inflight and their health was assessed pre- and postflight through ground-based testing. The Flight Crew Health Stabilization Program, deemed essential after the exposure of an Apollo 13 crewmember to German measles, was implemented for the first time on the Apollo 14 mission. The program was divided into four elements: Clinical Medicine, Immunology, Exposure Prevention and Epidemiological Surveillance. Clinical Medicine covered routine and emergency physical exams, rapid diagnosis followed by prompt, effective treatment of any disease event. Immunology included serological testing, as well as immunizations for such diseases as diphtheria, mumps and rubella. Exposure prevention concentrated on minimizing or eliminating transfer of infectious diseases via contaminated objects, consumables and personal contact. Epidemiological Surveillance involved the recording of medical histories and other critical information about the primary contacts of the crew and resulted in an approved list of personnel who could come into contact with the crew directly before the mission. The Apollo 14 astronauts were the last lunar explorers to be quarantined on their return from the Moon. Their quarantine program, because of the rigorous preflight procedures, was the most stringent.

Before and after Apollo 14, researchers studied several physiological systems. Investigators evaluated the crewmembers' cardiovascular response to exercise pre- and post flight, using a bicycle ergometer and other exercise equipment, and studied the response of the cardiovascular system to weightlessness using lower body negative pressure and passive stand tests.

The clinical aspects of crew health and safety were investigated by performing medical examinations and conducting inflight medical monitoring as evaluation methods. Investigators also studied musculoskeletal changes, clinical disorders in space due to imbalance between bone formation and resorption, inflight weight loss and inflight caloric intake. Another important aspect of crew health and safety is the protection against radiation, so one experiment focused on analyzing natural and man-made radiation encountered in space, with the goal of finding ways of limiting the astronauts' exposure to radiation. Vestibular system experiments not only aided researchers in gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms that provide balance and coordination, but also contributed to alleviating the symptoms of space adaptation syndrome.

The endocrinology experiments sought to understand biochemical changes in crewmembers by studying the balance of fluids and electrolytes, regulation of calcium metabolism and the adaptation of metabolic processes to the space environment. Investigators also sought to determine the life support requirements during extravehicular activity (EVA) by studying metabolism and heat dissipation.

Scientists also utilized specific laboratory data to assess the health status of the astronauts prior to their commitment to space flight. This allowed them to detect and identify any alterations in the normal functions of the immunological and hematological systems which could be attributed to space flight exposure and to evaluate the significance of these changes relative to a person's continuing participation in space flight missions. Biochemistry data, when integrated with the data obtained from a complete history and physical examination of each crewmember, permitted an objective assessment of crew physical status.

The detection of potentially pathogenic microorganisms was attempted, so that associated medical problems could be identified early and preventive measures could be established. These objectives included the identification of medically important microorganisms recovered from ill crew members to aid in diagnosis and treatment.

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