Gap DCS7: We have not validated procedures to adequately treat DCS in the spaceflight environment should it occur.
Last Published:  07/30/21 01:05:31 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Closed
Closure Rationale

While DCS research and operational development is of high importance, this work is now funded by organizations other than HRP, in a collaborative joint effort. Details of DCS-related work that is already being done (or planned to be done) may be found in the comprehensive NASA technical paper “Integrated Extravehicular Activity Human Research and Testing Plan” (NASA/TP-2019-220232). As part of HRP’s new strategy, it will contribute to these operational efforts as needed.

Closure Documentation:
No Closure Documentation Available

Initial state:
There are DCS treatment protocols for altitude DCS that involve hyperbaric oxygen treatment. These treatment protocols are based on the aviation scenarios and assume a crewmember’s return to ground. In space, this may not be possible and we need to understand the capabilities of treating DCS with the use of expected in-situ resources.

Additionally, we need to consider if there are any long term outcomes of spaceflight DCS that need to be followed over the course of a crew member’s life.

Interim stages:

Information Needed



Data Mined for DCS Treatment Model



Recommendations to the LSAH project for surveillance tests for any astronaut who experiences serious DCS



Gap Closure

0% Complete


The primary goal is to prevent spaceflight DCS, but should it occur, we need to know how to treat it and if it needs lifetime surveillance. There are aerospace databases to mine for DCS treatment data, which is the first step. Also of importance will be to communicate with other agencies to determine how they are monitoring for long term effects of DCS.

Target for Closure
DCS treatment procedures defined for each DRM. Definition of required treatment capability for DRM requirements documents. Recommendations to Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH) project for medical tests needed to evaluate long term health consequences of spaceflight DCS.
Risk Risk of Decompression Sickness [inactive]
You are here! Gap DCS7: We have not validated procedures to adequately treat DCS in the spaceflight environment should it occur.

Multi-Disciplinary Research Plans

No Documentation Available