There is a potential need to objectively monitor the degree of crewmembers' mental stress while on board the International Space Station (ISS). For the purpose, the present study explored cognitive tasks in which performance co-varies with stress status in an attempt to develop an objective stress measurement procedure using cognitive task performance. We chose 17 tasks based on literature that showed relationship with stress including tasks that potentially implies involvement of frontal lobe functions. Behavioral data and conventional stress measurements by POMS and STAI questionnaires from 15-37 participants were collected for each task. Thirty-nine indices were calculated based on performance of the 17 tasks. We identified 11 indices that showed significant correlations with POMS or STAI subscales. We suggest that these tasks are sensitive to some aspects of mental stress and thus potentially useful for the development of a stress measurement procedure based on human cognitive task performance.
This paper introduces the current status of space medicine research in Japan, especially the activities of the JAXA Space Biomedical Research Office (J-SBRO). This includes ongoing medical research on the International Space Station and joint research with the Antarctic Expedition Team. It also explains J-SBRO's goals, philosophy, highly prioritized research themes, and process for conducting research, as well as some topics on space medicine research targeting astronauts. Finally, we express our opinion for establishing the fundamentals of space biomedical research in Japan, based on the financial and social frameworks.
JAXA's clinical space medicine program seeks to improve the health, and well-being of Japanese astronauts. It plans to develop medical technologies to mitigate and manage medical risks around human space flight. To prevent bone loss and renal stone during space flight, prophylactic use of bisphosphonate for station astronaut has began this year through collaboration between JAXA and NASA. The process of JAXA's space medicine study, advisory committee for bone loss countermeasure program, and 90-day bed rest study were also shown in this article.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is developing the telemedicine method to improve astronauts health care in space utilizing Japanese commercial medical equipment.This is the report on verification test of the Holter Electrocardiograph (ECG) held on-board International Space Station (ISS). The selected commercial Holter ECG has worked successfully in microgravity. Also downlinked ECG data enabled us to monitor the cardiovascular functions and autonomic functions of the astronauts.
The living environment in spacecrafts would be progressively contaminated by microorganisms. Various microorganisms have been isolated from on board manned spacecrafts and they have been brought with commodities, crew members themselves, and so on. So it is unavoidable to bring microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria into manned spacecrafts. Some microorganisms are known as possible allergens in our living environment and many researchers are studying the correlation between environmental microbiota and allergic reactions. Normal flora is thought to be strongly affected by living environment. So we should monitor and evaluate both of environmental microbiota on board spacecrafts and normal flora of crew members, and finally develop effective medical countermeasures to protect crew members against microorganisms in manned spacecrafts, which have confined living space under microgravity.
Life science and material science experiments are being conducted in the International Space Station (ISS), which flies at a low earth orbit (LEO) of 300 to 500km above Earth. One of the objectives of the life science experiments in LEO are to estimate risks on crew members in long-duration space flights and to investigate quantitatively biological effects in a space radiation environment under microgravity. The space radiation fields in LEO have a broad distribution in linear energy transfer (LET). Therefore, measurements of absorbed doses only in space radiation fields are insufficient for investigating the biological effects and for assessing the risk of radiation on astronauts. Dose equivalents (or gray equivalents) considering LET distributions of the high LET particles and their high radiation quality factors (or relative biological effectiveness) must be measured for space radiation dosimetry. We have started space radiation measurements since just after attachment of the Japanese Pressurized Module `KIBO' to the ISS. A set of passive radiation detectors (a so-called `PADLES') to measure dose equivalents as well as absorbed doses in the KIBO pressurized module has been set up and swapped every 6 months or each expedition. We also have a strategy for investigating the influence of space radiation upon human lunar activity after ISS operation. The strategy consists of measurements of lunar radiation environments, research of biological effectsvon the moon, and administration for radiation protection of astronauts. In this report, we summarize the necessity of space radiation measurements on board the ISS and the feasibility study for future human space flights to the moon.
Human beings plan to start lunar base construction under international cooperation from about 2020. We have con- cerned about the Lunar dust effects on human body and reviewed from occupational health points of view. We will present some solutions to problems and also introduce the vision of JAXA's research in the future. Little is known about lunar dust, such as particle size distribution data, chemical activation, and etc. These properties are possibly linked to toxicity in the human body. We must also consider factors of physiological change in variable gravity, especially in respiratory function.
JAXA's Space Biomedical Research Offi ce intends to solve these problems through occupational health methods. Here we provide a brief introduction.
The International Space Station (ISS) program is a major science and technology project that involves five space agencies, representing 15 countries. Japan started her full-dress participation in the project after successfully assembling the main parts of the Japanese Experiment Module, ''Kibo'', on the ISS in June 2008. Since March 2009, Astronaut Koichi Wakata has been carrying out the first Japanese long-duration mission on ISS. Muscle atrophy, bone loss, ex- posure to space radiation, and psychological stress are the main medical problems related to long-duration space flight. The medical operations team in each agency is working hard to take care of the astronauts and protect them from these medical problems. This team is composed of flight surgeons and other experts of various disciplines, including physiolog- ical countermeasures, nutrition, radiation, behavioral science, and environment. Five MedOps teams, one from each
agency, form the Integrated Medical Group to work closely and cooperatively.
Astronaut health care should be maintained continuously through pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight. During the flight, the Crew Medical Offi cer will perform medical care activities using on-board medical equipment and drugs under supervision of flight surgeons on the ground. After the flight, long-duration mission crew members will undergo 45 days of rehabilitation.