Last Published:  07/29/22 01:33:20 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open

Note: The exercise program must ensure fitnes levels for successful task performance and health standards maintenance.

Initial State:
Both short and long duration space flight results in decrements to muscle fitness. Decrements include muscle atrophy, reduced strength, reduced power and a lowering of fatigue resistance. The effects are primarily observed in the lower limbs and other postural muscles. Results from space flight and unloading during space flight analog studies clearly show that resistance exercise is at least partially effective in preventing unloading-induced loss of muscle fitness. However, exercise countermeasures regimens for long duration space flight are not yet fully mature. Exercise countermeasures need to protect muscle fitness such  that they meet or exceed identified muscle fitness standards for each exploration design reference mission.  Given that future missions beyond low Earth orbit will have constraints that require smaller sized exercise equipment and less physical training time, future regimens will need to be not only highly effective, but also highly efficient and compatible with exercise hardware with a small vehicle footprint.

Interim Stages:

Identification of experimental protocol
Prevent loss of muscle mass
Prevent loss of muscle strength
Prevent loss of muscle power
Prevent loss of muscle endurance
Characterize muscle specific differences
Characterize fiber-type specific differences
Refinement of experimental protocol
Protocol validation with exploration hardware

A variety of hypothesis-driven flight and flight-analog studies examining  efficacy of evidence-based exercise regimens will be implemented in order to reach target closure objectives.



Target for Closure
Definition of a Mars mission exercise program. The program must effectively protect to muscle fitness standards (see M4) for a Mars mission. Validation of the program must use a Mars transit-like long duration unloading analog on flight-approved hardware for use during Mars missions and include mission constraints as they pertain to the execution of the program (e.g. operating envelope, movement frequencies, duration of continuous use, etc).
Risk Risk of Impaired Performance Due to Reduced Muscle Size, Strength and Endurance
You are here! Gap M7: Develop the most efficient and effective exercise program for the maintenance of muscle function.

Multi-Disciplinary Research Plans

No Documentation Available