Space Headaches (Space Headaches) - 09.17.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
Headaches can be a common complaint during spaceflight. The Space Headaches experiment improves our understanding of such conditions, which helps in the development of methods to alleviate associated symptoms, and improve the well-being and performance of crewmembers in orbit. This can also improve our knowledge of similar conditions on Earth.
Science Results for Everyone
OpNom Space Headaches
Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)
ISS Expedition Duration
September 2011 - Ongoing
Previous ISS Missions
It is hypothesized that headaches in microgravity represent a separate entity among the secondary headaches attributed to disorders of homeostasis. Space Headaches will aim to:
- Obtain retrospective post-flight data to allow the evaluation of headache episodes in crewmembers that have participated in space missions during the past 15 years.
- Assess the incidence of headache episodes in current crewmembers.
- Analyze headache characteristics and classify headaches according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders.
- Provide the basis for developing future countermeasures for headaches during space flight in order to minimize complaints and optimize the crewmember's working ability and the living conditions.
Headaches during space flight can negatively affect mental and physical capacities of crewmembers which can influence performance during a space mission. Data from this experiment improve our understanding of such conditions, providing a stepping stone to development of countermeasures to alleviate associated symptoms, thus improving the well-being of our crewmembers in orbit, and in turn improving astronaut performance.
Headaches are also common on Earth, either as an isolated condition or as one symptom of another medical condition. Improving the knowledge we gather in space of the nature and occurrence of headaches could also provide an insight to associated conditions on Earth.
BBC News--Space Headache a Real Phenomenon
National Geographic News--“Space Headache” a New Type of Astronaut Affliction?
COSMOS--Space Headache: A New Health Complaint for Astronauts