Last Published:  04/20/22 11:43:20 AM (Central)
Responsible Element: Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC)
Status: Open

State of Knowledge: Exploration missions beyond Low Earth Orbit are going to pose novel challenges with respect to the provision of medical care. As these missions increase in duration and distance from Earth, they are going to be significantly constrained from a resource perspective. Limitations on available mass and volume within the spacecraft, reduced communication abilities with Earth, limited options for medical evacuation, and reduced resupply capability will necessitate a paradigm shift in spaceflight medical care. This new approach will require highly functional and easy to use medical technology that has a reduced resource footprint, tools and training that enable astronauts to perform medical functions autonomously, and the modification of terrestrial medical care practices for the unique spaceflight environment.


Continued monitoring of terrestrial medical technologies and practices for spaceflight applications (e.g. handheld ultrasound imaging technology)
Medical capability technology development for unique spaceflight needs (e.g. generation of intravenous fluid solutions from potable water)
Development of technology prototypes and operational protocols that enable astronauts to provide medical care in a progressively Earth independent fashion (e.g. medical decision-making support tools)
Ground, analog, and spaceflight demonstrations of relevant medical capabilities for exploration missions (e.g. software-guided medical procedure support tools)

Target for Closure
1. NASA acceptance of the Medical Risk as determined by high confidence in the ability of an exploration medical system to maintain astronaut health necessary for a successful human Mars mission
Risk Risk of Adverse Health Outcomes and Decrements in Performance Due to Medical Conditions that occur in Mission, as well as Long Term Health Outcomes Due to Mission Exposures
You are here! Gap Medical-701: We need to increase inflight medical capabilities and identify new capabilities that (a) maximize benefit and/or (b) reduce “costs” on human system/mission/vehicle resources.

Multi-Disciplinary Research Plans

No Documentation Available