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Human  Health  and  Performance

The hub of NASA’s human spaceflight research activities and the primary site of the Human Research Program is at the Johnson Space Center.  In addition to coordinating research and development projects at a number of facilities and test sites across the country, scientists and engineers at the Johnson Space Center conduct studies related to space radiation, exploration medical capability, microgravity, human factors, habitability, and behavioral health.

Johnson Space Center human health and performance teams are dedicated to optimizing human health and productivity for space exploration. All human health and countermeasures research, medical operations, habitability and environmental factors activities, and directorate support functions are ultimately aimed at achieving this mission.

Habitability and Environmental Factors

The Habitability and Environmental Factors teams are responsible for providing a safe and productive environment for any human spacecraft or habitat and overseeing the research and technology development to enable humans to safely and effectively live and work in space. This work includes human factors and habitability systems; air and water quality, toxicology, microbiology, acoustics and radiation health; and rapid prototyping and integration of human-centered and vehicle systems.

Human Adaptation and Countermeasures

Human Adaptation and Countermeasures teams are responsible for the performance of biomedical research focused on: 1) understanding the normal human response to space flight, and 2) developing, testing, and delivering countermeasures to those untoward responses that may affect crew health, safety, and/or performance during or after space flight missions.

Space Medicine Capabilities

The Space Medicine teams optimize the health, fitness, and well being of flight crews, their dependents and the employees of the Johnson Space Center in Texas, and the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. This is accomplished through the management of many support programs consisting of:

  • Flight and ambulatory medical care of astronauts and ambulatory medical care of dependents
  • Clinical and diagnostic services
  • Occupational health
  • Epidemiological services
  • Psychological medicine and health research
  • Wellness and rehabilitation programs
  • Crew family support
  • Medical informatics and health care systems operations and development
  • Crew and flight controller medical, environmental and countermeasures training
  • Mission operations medical and engineering support for all Shuttle and ISS mission
  • International health support
  • Human test medical support during: reduced gravity aircraft flights, chamber testing, and Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory astronaut training
  • Participation in multilateral medical boards and panels
  • Capabilities Summary
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Radiation Immunology
  • Human Factors
  • Aerospace Medicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Muscoskelatal Systems
  • Reduced Gravity
  • Acoustics
  • Habitability
  • Microbiology
  • Toxicology
  • Kinesiology

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