Thermoregulation in Humans During Long-Term Spaceflight (Thermolab) - 09.17.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
Thermoregulation in Humans During Long-Term Spaceflight (Thermolab) investigates the thermoregulatory and cardiovascular adaptations during rest and exercise in the course of a long-duartion microgravity exposure.
Science Results for Everyone
Astronauts are hot! Core body temperature rises faster when exercising on the space station than on Earth, increasing by 1-1.5 degrees C the first six weeks. The body also takes longer to cool down after exercise in flight. This investigation looked at heat-regulating and cardiovascular adaptations during rest and exercise in microgravity. Its measurements can be used to evaluate state of fatigue, which is important to mission success, and the non-invasive sensor used in the investigation could help in recognizing early signs of fatigue during spacewalks, for example. On Earth, it could be used in extreme working conditions, such as firefighting or flying jets, and for monitoring during surgery or in infant incubators.
Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)
ISS Expedition Duration
October 2009 - March 2013
Previous ISS Missions
Thermolab was first operated on Increment 19/20.
- It is hypothesized that heat balance, thermoregulation and circadian temperature rhythms are altered in humans during long-term space flights because of changes in the natural convective heat transfer from the body surface to the environment; changes in fluid shifts along the body's axis from peripheral to central parts; changes in the cardiovascular system; changes in the autonomous nervous system; and changes involving the metabolism and body composition. Since these factors are particularly cross-linked with each other in view of thermoregulation, an integrative study of the topic under microgravity conditions is mandatory.
- This study aims to investigate the thermoregulatory and cardio-vascular adaptations during rest and exercise in the course of a long-term micro-g exposure.
The information obtained by this study will lead to a better basic understanding of heat transfer and the thermal regulation in humans under weightless conditions. Such data will help with monitoring and maintenance of astronaut health and well-being in orbit.
By studying alterations in heat balance, thermoregulation and circadian temperature rhythms in space, we also get a greater understanding behind the mechanisms by which these systems work on Earth.