Musculoskeletal research in human space flight – unmet needs for the success of crewed deep space exploration

  • Based on the European Space Agency (ESA) Science in Space Environment (SciSpacE) community White Paper “Human Physiology – Musculoskeletal system”, this perspective highlights unmet needs and suggests new avenues for future studies in musculoskeletal research to enable crewed exploration missions. The musculoskeletal system is essential for sustaining physical function and energy metabolism, and the maintenance of health during exploration missions, and consequently mission success, will be tightly linked to musculoskeletal function. Data collection from current space missions from pre-, during-, and post-flight periods would provide important information to understand and ultimately offset musculoskeletal alterations during long-term spaceflight. In addition, understanding the kinetics of the different components of the musculoskeletal system in parallel with a detailed description of the molecular mechanisms driving these alterations appears to be the best approach to address potential musculoskeletal problems that future exploratory-mission crew will face. These research efforts should be accompanied by technical advances in molecular and phenotypic monitoring tools to provide in-flight real-time feedback.

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Author:Anna-Maria LiphardtORCiD, Rodrigo Fernandez-GonzaloORCiD, Kirsten AlbrachtORCiD, Jörn RittwegerORCiD, Laurence VicoORCiD
Parent Title (English):npj Microgravity
Publisher:Springer Nature
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2023
Date of the Publication (Server):2023/03/07
Issue:Article number: 9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
Institutes:FH Aachen / Fachbereich Medizintechnik und Technomathematik
FH Aachen / IfB - Institut für Bioengineering
collections:Open Access
Verlag / Springer Nature
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung