Encyclopedia of Bioastronautics

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurence R. Young, Jeffrey P. Sutton

Space Medicine: An Overview

  • Michael W. BungoEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10152-1_130-1


Space medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with the biological, physiological, and psychological health effects and medical problems of flight personnel in the context of spaceflight.


The discipline of space medicine is a relatively new focus in clinical and investigative practice arising since the first humans ventured beyond the stratosphere in the early 1960s. Historically, the area of flight medicine, with flight surgeons as its practitioners, has supported the health and wellbeing of aircraft crews and serves as a model for the principles and practice of space medicine. Over time, physicians and biomedical researchers have evolved their focus toward the care of humans that venture beyond the surface of the Earth. Occupation and preventive medicine principles have been and continue to be applied to this unique environment, with an emphasis on crewmembers selected for the challenging environment of space travel. Crewmembers must be kept healthy...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Texas Health Science CenterHoustonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Michael W. Bungo
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas Health Science CenterHoustonUSA