Food for space has evolved from cubes and tubes to normal Earth-like food consumed with common utensils. U.S. space food systems have traditionally been based upon the water supply. When on-board water was abundant (e.g., Apollo and Shuttle fuel cells produced water) then dehydrated food was used extensively. The International Space Station will have limited water available for food rehydration so there is little advantage for using dehydrated foods. Experience from Skylab and the Russian Mir space station emphasizes that food variety and quality are important elements in the design of food for closed systems. The evolution of space food has accentuated Earth-like foods, which should be a model for closed environment food systems.
Presented are the results of nutrition status analysis of the orbital "MIR" station crews. Investigations carried out both on the basis of subjective information concerning the state of crews members appetite, quantity of consumed food etc. as well as on the subjectives results of biochemical blood analysis reflecting the status of metabolic processes in human in zero-gravity conditions. The obtained data prove that jointly developed Russian-American food rations sustained the satisfactory level of working ability and health of cosmonauts and astronauts.
Animals have been a critical component of the spaceflight program since its inception. The Russians orbited a dog one month after the Sputnik satellite was launched. The dog mission spurred U.S. interest in animal flights. The animal missions proved that individuals aboard a spacecraft not only could survive, but also could carry out tasks during launch, near-weightlessness, and re-entry; humans were launched into space only after the early animal flights demonstrated that spaceflight was safe and survivable. After these humble beginnings when animals preceded humans in space as pioneers, a dynamic research program was begun using animals as human surrogates aboard manned and unmanned space platforms to understand how the unique environment of space alters life. In this review article, the following questions have been addressed: How did animal research in space evolve? What happened to animal development when gravity decreased? How have animal experiments in space contributed to our understanding of musculoskeletal changes and fracture repair during exposure to reduced gravity?
While dark adapted, two Apollo-Soyuz astronauts saw eighty-two light flash events during a complete 51 degrees orbit which passed near the north magnetic pole and through the South Atlantic Anomaly. The frequency of events at the polar parts of the orbit is 25 times that noted in equatorial latitudes and no increased frequency was noted in the South Atlantic Anomaly at the 225-km altitude. The expected flux of heavy particles at the northern and southern points is 1-2 min-1 per eye, and the efficiency for seeing HZE particles which were below the Cerenkov threshold is 50%.
Exploration Class missions to Mars will require precautions against potential contamination by any native microorganisms that may be incidentally pathogenic to humans. While the results of NASA's Viking biology experiments of the 1970s have been generally interpreted as inconclusive for surface organisms, and attributed to active but nonbiological chemistries, the possibility of native surface life has never been ruled out completely. It is possible that, prior to the first human landing on Mars, robotic craft and sample return missions will provide enough data to know with certainty whether future human landing sites harbor extant life forms. If native life were found to exist, it would be problematic to determine whether any of its species might present a medical danger to astronauts. Therefore, it will become necessary to assess empirically the risk that the planet contains pathogens based on terrestrial examples of pathogenicity and to take a reasonably cautious approach to biohazard protection. A survey of terrestrial pathogens was conducted with special emphasis on those whose evolution has not depended on the presence of animal hosts. The history of the development and implementation of Apollo anti-contamination protocol and recommendations of the National Research Council's Space Studies Board regarding Mars were reviewed. Organisms can emerge in Nature in the absence of indigenous animal hosts and both infectious and non-infectious human pathogens are therefore theoretically possible on Mars. Although remote, the prospect of Martian surface life, together with the existence of a diversity of routes by which pathogenicity has emerged on Earth, suggests that the probability of human pathogens on Mars, while low, is not zero. Still, since the discovery and study of Martian life can have long-term benefits for humanity, the risk that Martian life might include pathogens should not be an obstacle to human exploration. As a precaution, it is recommended that EVA (extravehicular activity) suits be decontaminated when astronauts enter surface habitats upon returning from field activity and that biosafety protocols approximating laboratory BSL 2 be developed for astronauts working in laboratories on the Martian surface. Quarantine of astronauts and Martian materials arriving on Earth should also be part of a human mission to Mars, and this and the surface biosafety program should be integral to human expeditions from the earliest stages of the mission planning.
Researchers tested a hypothesis that astronauts can become more proficient in training for tasks during space flight by training in a high gravity suit. Computer image analysis of movements, tensodynamography, and myotonometry were used to analyze movement in the hypergravity suit, muscle response, and other biomechanical factors. Results showed that training in the hypergravity suit improved the biomechanics of motor performance.
During the 41-G mission, two payload specialist astronauts took part in six Canadian medical experiments designed to measure how the human nervous system adapts to weightlessness, and how this might contribute to space motion sickness. Similar tests conducted pre-flight provided base-line data, and post-flight experiments examined re-adaptation to the ground. No changes were detected in the vestibulo-ocular reflex during this 8-day mission. Pronounced proprioceptive illusions were experienced, especially immediately post-flight. Tactile acuity was normal in the fingers and toes, but the ability to judge limb position was degraded. Estimates of the locations of familiar targets were grossly distorted in the absence of vision. There were no differences in taste thresholds or olfaction. Despite pre-flight tests showing unusual susceptibility to motion sickness, the Canadian payload specialist turned out to be less susceptible than normal on-orbit. Re-adaptation to the normal gravity environment occurred within the first day after landing.
Microbiological sampling techniques, earth-radiation-environment monitoring, gas-contaminant bio-filtering tools, multimedia communications technology, passive magnetic-levitation techniques for fluid-dynamics study, robotics-technology development, gas-sensor systems and analysis tools for human kinematics in microgravity--all were a part of the truly multidisciplinary Technology Experiments package flown aboard the record-breaking EuroMir 95 mission. Final processing and evaluation of the vast amount of data gathered from the experiments will not be completed until the end of the year--work is currently in progress at nine different centres throughout Europe--and this article therefore provides but a first glimpse of the mission's many findings and their implications for long-term manned spaceflight in the context of the International Space Station.