Encyclopedia of Bioastronautics

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

Bioastronautics: Definition and Scope

Why Risk Humans for Space Exploration
  • Laurence R. YoungEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10152-1_88-1


Bioastronautics is the intersection of space science and technology with biology and human factors. It encompasses both human and nonhuman space life science, including astronaut performance, protection, and life support as well as the effect of space on biological processes.

Bioastronauticsis the area of science and technology at the boundary of life science and space technology. It encompasses the special influence of space travel on biology, including physiology and medicine. Extended weightlessness, inherent in orbital flight, leads to well-documented physiological deconditioning. Bones, muscles, cardiovascular responses, and the control of posture and balance all suffer from the absence of a steady gravitational pull. The immune system and metabolism show their own reactions to “zero-G.” Reduced gravity, including the 1/6 G of the moon and the 3/8 G of Mars, could cause physiological deconditioning for extended missions – although data is currently unavailable for...


Life support Atmospheres Biomechanics Physiology Human factors Space medicine Astronauts Weightlessness Radiation Extra-terrestrial Planetary protection 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES)Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Apollo ProgramCambridgeUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Laurence Retman Young
    • 1
  • Jeffrey P. Sutton
    • 2
  1. 1.Health Sciences and Technologies (IMES)Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Apollo ProgramCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Space MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA