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Artificial gravity as a countermeasure for mitigating physiological deconditioning during long-duration space missions.

Clément GR, Bukley AP, Paloski WH - Front Syst Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: In spite of the experience gained in human space flight since Yuri Gagarin's historical flight in 1961, there has yet to be identified a completely effective countermeasure for mitigating the effects of weightlessness on humans.Hence, the concept of artificial gravity is to provide a broad-spectrum replacement for the gravitational forces that naturally occur on the Earth's surface, thereby avoiding the physiological deconditioning that takes place in weightlessness.Because researchers have long been concerned by the adverse sensorimotor effects that occur in weightlessness as well as in rotating environments, additional study of the complex interactions among sensorimotor and other physiological systems in rotating environments must be undertaken both on Earth and in space before artificial gravity can be implemented.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Wyle Science and Engineering Group Houston, TX, USA.

ABSTRACT
In spite of the experience gained in human space flight since Yuri Gagarin's historical flight in 1961, there has yet to be identified a completely effective countermeasure for mitigating the effects of weightlessness on humans. Were astronauts to embark upon a journey to Mars today, the 6-month exposure to weightlessness en route would leave them considerably debilitated, even with the implementation of the suite of piece-meal countermeasures currently employed. Continuous or intermittent exposure to simulated gravitational states on board the spacecraft while traveling to and from Mars, also known as artificial gravity, has the potential for enhancing adaptation to Mars gravity and re-adaptation to Earth gravity. Many physiological functions are adversely affected by the weightless environment of spaceflight because they are calibrated for normal, Earth's gravity. Hence, the concept of artificial gravity is to provide a broad-spectrum replacement for the gravitational forces that naturally occur on the Earth's surface, thereby avoiding the physiological deconditioning that takes place in weightlessness. Because researchers have long been concerned by the adverse sensorimotor effects that occur in weightlessness as well as in rotating environments, additional study of the complex interactions among sensorimotor and other physiological systems in rotating environments must be undertaken both on Earth and in space before artificial gravity can be implemented.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Partial-gravity simulators. (A) A harness connected to a rolling-trolley mechanism ensures that only a vertical force is applied to the subject. (B) Subject walking on a treadmill with lower body positive pressure (LBPP) support that reduces weight bearing. (C) The reduced-gravity walking simulator at NASA Langley Research Center used long cables to support a subject walking on a tilted surface Photo credit: NASA.
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Figure 6: Partial-gravity simulators. (A) A harness connected to a rolling-trolley mechanism ensures that only a vertical force is applied to the subject. (B) Subject walking on a treadmill with lower body positive pressure (LBPP) support that reduces weight bearing. (C) The reduced-gravity walking simulator at NASA Langley Research Center used long cables to support a subject walking on a tilted surface Photo credit: NASA.

Mentions: The MIT partial gravity simulator, also known as the Moonwalker, is capable of simulating partial gravity as low as 0.05 G (Figure 6A). A recent study tested 12 healthy subjects before and after Martian gravity (0.38 G) simulation to determine the effects of partial gravity adaptation on walking performance. Results showed that the subjects walked with an altered gait characterized by an increased downward center of mass acceleration, reduced muscle activity, and increased maximum joint angles after Martian gravity simulation (Wu, 1999).


Artificial gravity as a countermeasure for mitigating physiological deconditioning during long-duration space missions.

Clément GR, Bukley AP, Paloski WH - Front Syst Neurosci (2015)

Partial-gravity simulators. (A) A harness connected to a rolling-trolley mechanism ensures that only a vertical force is applied to the subject. (B) Subject walking on a treadmill with lower body positive pressure (LBPP) support that reduces weight bearing. (C) The reduced-gravity walking simulator at NASA Langley Research Center used long cables to support a subject walking on a tilted surface Photo credit: NASA.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Figure 6: Partial-gravity simulators. (A) A harness connected to a rolling-trolley mechanism ensures that only a vertical force is applied to the subject. (B) Subject walking on a treadmill with lower body positive pressure (LBPP) support that reduces weight bearing. (C) The reduced-gravity walking simulator at NASA Langley Research Center used long cables to support a subject walking on a tilted surface Photo credit: NASA.
Mentions: The MIT partial gravity simulator, also known as the Moonwalker, is capable of simulating partial gravity as low as 0.05 G (Figure 6A). A recent study tested 12 healthy subjects before and after Martian gravity (0.38 G) simulation to determine the effects of partial gravity adaptation on walking performance. Results showed that the subjects walked with an altered gait characterized by an increased downward center of mass acceleration, reduced muscle activity, and increased maximum joint angles after Martian gravity simulation (Wu, 1999).

Bottom Line: In spite of the experience gained in human space flight since Yuri Gagarin's historical flight in 1961, there has yet to be identified a completely effective countermeasure for mitigating the effects of weightlessness on humans.Hence, the concept of artificial gravity is to provide a broad-spectrum replacement for the gravitational forces that naturally occur on the Earth's surface, thereby avoiding the physiological deconditioning that takes place in weightlessness.Because researchers have long been concerned by the adverse sensorimotor effects that occur in weightlessness as well as in rotating environments, additional study of the complex interactions among sensorimotor and other physiological systems in rotating environments must be undertaken both on Earth and in space before artificial gravity can be implemented.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Wyle Science and Engineering Group Houston, TX, USA.

ABSTRACT
In spite of the experience gained in human space flight since Yuri Gagarin's historical flight in 1961, there has yet to be identified a completely effective countermeasure for mitigating the effects of weightlessness on humans. Were astronauts to embark upon a journey to Mars today, the 6-month exposure to weightlessness en route would leave them considerably debilitated, even with the implementation of the suite of piece-meal countermeasures currently employed. Continuous or intermittent exposure to simulated gravitational states on board the spacecraft while traveling to and from Mars, also known as artificial gravity, has the potential for enhancing adaptation to Mars gravity and re-adaptation to Earth gravity. Many physiological functions are adversely affected by the weightless environment of spaceflight because they are calibrated for normal, Earth's gravity. Hence, the concept of artificial gravity is to provide a broad-spectrum replacement for the gravitational forces that naturally occur on the Earth's surface, thereby avoiding the physiological deconditioning that takes place in weightlessness. Because researchers have long been concerned by the adverse sensorimotor effects that occur in weightlessness as well as in rotating environments, additional study of the complex interactions among sensorimotor and other physiological systems in rotating environments must be undertaken both on Earth and in space before artificial gravity can be implemented.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus