In addition, for the first time, ICV also placed astronauts in the simulated gravity of Mars on the day they returned to Earth after six months on the space station. This confirmed that given the opportunity to apply an aggressive exercise countermeasure, astronauts are very likely to tolerate the gravity of Mars without any difficulties after they arrive on the Martian surface.
The results for Integrated Cardiovascular show that the human heart becomes spherical and smaller in microgravity. According to Levine, this is exactly the same as what happens when people lie down at night and remove the effect of gravity pulling blood (and the heart) down towards the feet. The implications of these findings make the study key to understanding how humans will fare during long duration exploration, such as to Mars or an asteroid. This also may lead to advances in countermeasures and treatments on the ground related to heart health. For instance, the study validated math models that doctors used to predict how the heart would react to working in microgravity, showing the use of the forecasting tool as effective for use on the ground to evaluate how the organ may react to different stress scenarios.
The award presented to Lynch recognized his work with Procter and Gamble to study the behavior of colloids--microscopic particles--suspended in gels and creams and how they separate over time. In microgravity, these mixtures move more slowly for more detailed study of their natural activities. This knowledge, applied to product design, improves shelf life and stability for everyday consumer items like liquid detergents and shampoos. It also has applications for next-generation computer and medical technology and advanced optics.
|Contact: Laura Niles|
NASA/Johnson Space Center