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ATI's Bioastronautics: Space Exploration and its Effects on the Human Body course

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    Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

      This four-day course is intended for technical and managerial personnel who wish to be introduced to the effects of the space environment on humans. This course introduces bioastronautics from a fundamental perspective, assuming no prior knowledge of biology, physiology, or chemistry. The objective of the course is to provide the student with basic knowledge that will allow him or her to contribute more effectively to the human space exploration program. The human body, that through evolution is uniquely designed to function on the Earth, adapts to the space environment characterized by weightlessness and enhanced radiation. These alterations can impact the health and performance of astronauts, especially on return to the Earth.

      This course should be of interest to those scientists, engineers, and managers who would like to or are supporting research and countermeasure developments for the human space exploration program. It is important that development of countermeasures for any specific physiological alteration due to reduced-gravity environments and radiation, in space or on the Moon or Mars, be cognizant of all regulatory mechanisms that maintain homeostasis. An understanding of these effects is critical to the design and development of safe and effective space explorations systems for use in space or on the Moon or Mars. This course introduces bioastronautics from a fundamental perspective, assuming no prior knowledge of biology, physiology, or chemistry. View Course Sampler


      Dr. Vincent L. Pisacane was the Robert A. Heinlein Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the United States Naval Academy where he taught courses in space exploration and its physiological effects, space communications, astrodynamics, space environment, space communication, space power systems, and the design of spacecraft and space instruments. He was previously at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory where he was the Head of the Space Department, Director of the Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in Medicine, and Assistant Director for Research and Exploratory Development. He concurrently held a joint academic appointment in biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has been the principal investigator on several NASA funded grants on space radiation, orbital debris, and the human thermoregulatory system. He is a fellow of the AIAA. He currently teaches graduate courses in space systems engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. In addition he has taught short courses on these topics. He has authored over a hundred papers on space systems and bioastronautics.

      Dr Lois Wehren, was in private medical practice for 18 years. She received her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she also completed postdoctoral fellowships in clinical research methods and epidemiology of aging. Her research interests relate primarily to osteoporosis: pathogenesis of the disease, prevention and treatment strategies, and predictors and consequences of osteoporotic fracture. She has collaborated with researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to examine long-term effects of different types of radiation exposure on development of tumors. This research will provide important evidence pertinent to human space flight risks and possible countermeasures. She has authored numerous scientific papers and lectured internationally to both professional and lay audiences.

      Contact these instructors (please mention course name in the subject line)

    Who Should Attend:

    Scientists, engineers, and managers involved in the management, planning, design, fabrication, integration, test, or operation of space instrumentation and systems associated with the space exploration program. The course provides an understanding of the characteristics of space exploration missions, fundamentals of the relevant human physiologic systems, how they are affected by the space environment, approaches to mitigate deleterious effects, and techniques to simulate the space environment on Earth and the Earth environment in space. Pertinent ground-based and in-orbit experimental observations will be covered.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Critical characteristics of exploratory missions to the Moon and Mars
    • NASA's Human Research Program and the Human Research Roadmap
    • Characteristics and state of the art of life support systems
    • Microgravity and gravity analogs
    • Fundamentals of human physiology
    • Effects of the space environment on human physiology, performance, and sleep
    • Mitigation strategies and further research needs

    Course Outline:

    1. Introduction to Human Spaceflight Global exploration program, the environmental issues for potential missions, mission characteristics, overview of physiological effects of spaceflight

    2. NASA's Human Research Roadmap Goals and objectives; standards for human spaceflight; physiological risks for Lunar, Near-Earth asteroid, and Mars missions; and readiness levels

    3. Life Support Systems Physiological needs, generic life support system, goals and status of ISS regenerative closed-loop system

    4. Neurovestibular Alterations Physiological control mechanisms, vestibular apparatus, neurovestibular system, spatial disorientation during aircraft and spaceflight

    5. Microgravity and Gravity Analogs Analogs to simulate space environment on Earth, analogs to simulate Earth environment in space with emphasis on short- and long-arm centrifugation

    6. Artificial Atmospheres Environmental standards, thermoregulation, respiration, hypoxia and hyperoxia, decompression sickness, and spacesuit environments

    7. Cardiopulmonary Alterations Metabolism, cardiopulmonary and cardiovascular anatomy, fluid distribution, alterations during spaceflight, countermeasures

    8. Radiation and Radiobiology Radiation environment, radiobiology, radiations limits, estimating risk, astronaut in-orbit exposures, selected mission risks, mission planning

    9. Hematological and Immunological Alterations Fundamentals of hematology and immunology, alterations during spaceflight, in-orbit experimental results

    10. Muscular Alteration Muscle anatomy, muscle types, fiber contraction, muscle control, muscle response, alterations during spaceflight, in-orbit experimental results

    11. Skeletal Alterations Bone function and composition, connective tissues, bone remodeling, calcium regulation, bone mineral density, fracture and healing, alterations in space

    12. Performance and Sleep Deregulation Habitability, circadian rhythm, circadian phase response, sleep cycle, disorders, sleep performance in space, sleep disruption and countermeasures


      Tuition for this four-day course is $2045 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to