Task Adverse Cardiopulmonary Effects of Exposure to Extraterrestrial Dusts - Implications for Space Travel (Completed)
Last Published:  07/30/21 01:05:34 PM (Central)
Short Title: Adverse Cardio Effects - Dusts
Responsible HRP Element: Exploration Medical Capability
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Completed - Task completed and produced a deliverable
Procurement Mechanism(s):

Aim 1 – Determine the cardiopulmonary effects of acute and subchronic exposures to select meteorite and terrestrial basalt samples. Single and multi-dose exposures of select meteorite and terrestrial basalt samples will be performed utilizing oropharyngeal aspiration in a mouse model. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid will be used to determine inflammation via neutrophil infiltration as well as cytokine damage. The aorta will be utilized to explore endothelium function alterations which could signify adverse cardiovascular effects of exposure to the dust from the respective planetary bodies. Respiratory function (e.g., resistance and elastance), will also be tested.

Aim 2 – Evaluate the use of geochemical features for toxicological risk assessment. The results acquired in Aim 1 will be evaluated against the geochemical features (e.g., chemistry, mineralogy, solubility, ability to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in solution) of the select meteorite and terrestrial basalt samples. Any correlations between geochemical features and toxicity will help clarify inhalation risks associated with exposure to celestial dust and help mitigate the risk of space exploration and colonization.

The proposed research will address Gaps DUST-11 and DUST-12 by not only identifying possible inhalation hazards likely encountered in future space travel, but also allowing for the development of a geochemical model to help mitigate the risk of celestial dust exposure.