Task Effects of Spaceflight Durations up to One Year in Low Earth Orbit on Cardiovascular Structure and Function in Astronauts
Last Published:  11/23/20 11:55:12 AM (Central)
Short Title: 1YM CV Structure and Function
Responsible HRP Element: Human Health Countermeasures
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Planned-Funded - Task expected to be within budget
Procurement Mechanism(s):
This Task is a placeholder for a study in response to the 80JSC018N0001-HHCHFBP HERO NRA Appendix D solicitation topic:
Topics in Human Health Countermeasures, Human Factors, and Behavioral Performance

Results of previous studies on the ISS have indicated that six months of spaceflight increase stiffness of the carotid and femoral arteries and insulin resistance in astronauts (Hughson et al., 2016; Arbeille et al., 2016). Other aspects of the cardiovascular system’s adaptation to weightlessness have been studied, including for example systolic and diastolic function, cardiac chamber size and wall thickness, risk of arrhythmia, and risk of coronary artery atherosclerosis. The health and clinical effects of these findings are currently being debated and tested in space, and it is not known, whether longer duration flights could augment them. In addition, the efficiency of the in-flight exercise countermeasures to protect the cardiovascular system against increased vascular stiffness as well as against cardiac atrophy for one year in space is not known.

The purpose of this topic is therefore to understand if there are augmented cardiovascular health risk effects of extending missions to one year on ISS and the temporal profile of cardiovascular adaptation.

The main purpose of this topic is to characterize the temporal adaptation of the cardiovascular system and all its subcomponents to spaceflight of increasing duration (ranging from two month missions, through six month missions, and up to one-year missions in low-Earth orbit) and by extrapolation to understand, if extended durations in space beyond one year will induce a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and thus, to what degree this will be a factor in Appendix D - 6

evaluating the health risk profiles of future long duration deep space missions, that will be around three years in duration. It is also the purpose to lay a foundation for later comparisons with study outcomes in astronauts during deep space Gateway missions for understanding effects of deep space radiation on human health.