Biomedical Data Collection For Space Programs
Man has demonstrated his ability to survive in the space environment. The tasks now underway in the manned spaceflight programs of the United States are directed toward the proper integration of the crewman into the vehicle and the flight operations in such a manner that the advantages whichman offers can be used. This paper will devote itself to a discussion of the biomedical data system first used in manned space flight and the approaches now being developed for future flights. The discussion will review the philosophy and events which led to the early program of data collection and how present events have changed the approach.
The biomedical data gathering system first used in the United States was directed toward the question of answering whether man could survive in space flight. Flight safety was of prime importance. This objective dictated the requirement for animals to precede man in flight. Additional information which could be gleaned from the mission directed data system was gratefully accepted but did not dictate the choice of instruments or the methods of data handling. Gross screening studies were carried out in an attempt to identify body system problems.
The goals of the biomedical data gathering systems have shifted to the objective of gathering information which will permit better integration of man into a useful position in the spacecraft operation. The system still must meet the flight safety requirements, however, the instruments must search for the mechanisms by which the body systems meet space flight.
The large payloads and the shifting to the new spacecraft permit the use of the full spectrum of data sources. Not only can biosensors placed on the man be used, but now the use of small inflight experiments, the obtaining of special samples and the more elaborate inflight data avail¬able through direct study become possible.
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