Encyclopedia of Bioastronautics

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

Human Space Flight Mishaps and Incidents: An Overview

  • Jonathan B. ClarkEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10152-1_125-1


Human spaceflight mishaps and incidents pertain to crew and spacecraft threats and events that can occur in all phases of spaceflight, from prelaunch to ascent, through in-flight mission activities, to reentry and post-landing.


Human spaceflight is extremely risky. Threats to crew health have occurred during every phase of a mission, including prelaunch, launch and ascent, on-orbit, reentry and landing, and post-landing. Spaceflight-related human health threats include the space environment (microgravity, vacuum, and radiation), spacecraft environment (noise, closed life support), and mission (circadian disruption, sleep deprivation) effects. Humans exhibit considerable adaptive responses, such as neurovestibular, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular changes to microgravity. The spacecraft environment as well can expose crew to toxins and other hazardous materials. Confinement, isolation, and intense workload have created psychosocial adaptation issues.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology/Center for Space MedicineBaylor College Of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Senior Research Scientist, FL Institute for Human and Machine CognitionPensacolaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jonathan Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology/ Center for Space MedicineBaylor College Of MedicineHoustonUSA