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Proceedings Paper

Life Science Research In Space: The Spacelab Era
Author(s): R . M. Farrell; D. B. Cramer; D. H. Reid
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Paper Abstract

This manuscript summarizes the events leading to the first Spacelab mission dedicated exclusively to life sciences experimentation. This mission is currently planned for a Space Shuttle flight in the 1984-1985 time frame. Following publication of a NASA Announce ment of Opportunity in 1978, approximately 400 proposals were received from researchers in universities, government laboratories, and industrial firms both in the U. S. and abroad. In 1979, 87 candidate experiments were selected for definition studies to identify the detailed resources which would need to be accommodated by the Spacelab. These proposals addressed problems encountered in man's previous space flight experience, such as space motion sickness, cardiovascular deconditioning, muscle wasting, calcium loss and a reduction in red cell mass. Additionally, experiments were selected in areas of bioengineering, behavior and performance, Plant physiology, and cell biology. Animal species (rodents and small primates) to be investigated will be housed in a specially-developed animal holding facility which will provide all life support requirements for the animals. Human subjects will consist of a Mission Specialist Astronaut and up to four Payload Specialists. Plant species will be housed in Plant Growth Units. A general purpose work station and biological containment facility will provide the working area for much of the in-space experimentation. A comprehensive array of flight qualified laboratory equipment will be made available by NASA to Principal Investigators for in-flight use by the Payload Specialists. This equipment includes microscopes, biotelemetry systems, cameras, centrifuges, refrigerators, and similar equipment. All of this equipment has been designed for use in weightlessness. The process to develop a primary payload of about 20 experiments is now underway for Spacelab mission number four, the first dedicated life sciences flight. Under the overall guidance of NASA Headquarters, responsibility for carrying out this program rests with NASA and contractor scientists, physicians, engineers hind technicians at the Johnson Space Center, Ames Research Center, and the Kennedy Space Center. Spacelab-4 will be the first of a series of dedicated life sciences missions; future dedicated missions are planned at 18-month intervals.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 1982
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0284, NASA-ESA Spacelab Systems and Programs, (1 February 1982); doi: 10.1117/12.965783
Show Author Affiliations
R . M. Farrell, NASA Headquarters (United States)
D. B. Cramer, NASA Headquarters (United States)
D. H. Reid, Management and Technical Services Company/G.E. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0284:
NASA-ESA Spacelab Systems and Programs
Jesse W. Moore, Editor(s)

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