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Space Exploration and its Effects on the Human Body

ATI's Bioastronautics:

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    Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

      This three-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 this 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.


      Dr. Vincent Pisacane was the Robert A. Heinlein professor of aerospace engineering at the United States Naval Academy where he taught courses in space physiology, space communications, astrodynamics, space environment, and spacecraft design. 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, Assistant Director for Research and Exploratory Development. He currently teaches graduate courses in space systems engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. 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)

    What You Will Learn:

      You will gain an understanding of the basic functions of the human body and how the body adapts to the space environment. The content is structured around. NASA's Bioastronautics Roadmap which is a risk reduction strategy for human space exploration. With this knowledge you will be able to participate more productively in the human space exploration program.

    Course Outline:

    1. Introduction to Human Spaceflight
    2. NASA’s Human Research Roadmap
    3. Life Support Systems
    4. Microgravity and Gravity Analogs
    5. Artificial Atmospheres and Respiration
    6. Neurovestibular Alterations
    7. Cardiovascular Alterations
    8. Hematological and Immunological Alterations
    9. Muscular Alterations
    10. Skeletal Alterations
    11. Radiation and Radiobiology
    12. Performance and Sleep Deregulation


      This course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses. If you are interested in attending this or another course as open enrollment, please contact us at (410) 956-8805 or at and indicate the course name and number of students who wish to participate. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a lead time of 3-5 months. Group courses can be presented at your facility at any time. For on-site pricing, request an on-site quote. You may also call us at (410) 956-8805 or email us at