Contact Us

General Inquiry:
Strategic Opportunities & Partnership Development Office
Phone: 281.483.3000

Mailing Address:
National Aeronautics & Space Administration
Johnson Space Center
Mail Code: AO
2101 NASA Parkway
Houston, Texas 77058

Human Health and Performance

    Anthropometry BiomechanicsAnthropometry Biomechanics
    Photo credit: NASA

    Johnson Space Center human health and performance teams are dedicated to optimizing human health and productivity for space exploration. All human health and countermeasures research, medical operations, habitability and environmental factors activities, and directorate support functions are ultimately aimed at achieving this mission.

    Habitability and Environmental Factors
    The Habitability and Environmental Factors teams are responsible for providing a safe and productive environment for any human spacecraft or habitat and overseeing the research and technology development to enable humans to safely and effectively live and work in space. This work includes human factors and habitability systems; air and water quality, toxicology, microbiology, acoustics and radiation health; and rapid prototyping and integration of human-centered and vehicle systems.

    Human Adaptation and Countermeasures
    Human Adaptation and Countermeasures teams are responsible for the performance of biomedical research focused on: 1) understanding the normal human response to space flight, and 2) developing, testing, and delivering countermeasures to those untoward responses that may affect crew health, safety, and/or performance during or after space flight missions.

    Space Medicine
    The Space Medicine teams optimize the health, fitness, and well being of flight crews, their dependents and the employees of the Johnson Space Center in Texas, and the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. This is accomplished through the management of many support programs consisting of:

    • Flight and ambulatory medical care of astronauts and ambulatory medical care of dependents
    • Clinical and diagnostic services
    • Occupational health
    • Epidemiological services
    • Psychological medicine and health research
    • Wellness and rehabilitation programs
    • Crew family support
    • Medical informatics and health care systems operations and development
    • Crew and flight controller medical, environmental and countermeasures training
    • Mission operations medical and engineering support for all Shuttle and ISS mission
    • International health support
    • Human test medical support during: reduced gravity aircraft flights, chamber testing, and Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory astronaut training
    • Participation in multilateral medical boards and panels

    Capabilities Summary

    • Occupational Medicine
    • Radiation Immunology
    • Human Factors
    • Aerospace Medicine
    • Neurosciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Nutrition
    • Muscoskelatal Systems
    • Reduced Gravity
    • Acoustics
    • Habitability
    • Microbiology
    • Toxicology
    • Kinesiology

Habitability and Environmental Factors Facilities

  • Plant Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus with acoustics mufflers to reduce noise on the ISS

    Acoustics and Noise Control Laboratory

    Capabilities to monitor and analyze on-orbit acoustical noise. Experts and facilities to verify that hardware and systems meet acoustical requirements for providing a safe, healthy, and habitable environment in which crewmembers can live, work, and communicate.

  • Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility

    Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility

    Uniquely equipped with anthropometric and biomechanical instrumentation and population analysis based analytical and modeling capabilities to test and verify if all eligible crew/passengers can be accommodated, and fitted with a protective suit that enables performance of reach and access tasks. ABF’s unique expertise can aid in identifying potential ergonomic and occupational biomechanical problems with recommended solutions to improve suited passenger’s safety, comfort, and injury protection.

  • Predicting shadows on ISS module during berthing

    Graphics Research and Analysis Facility

    Performs computer aided human factors analysis and simulation, utilizing high-performance computer graphics workstations interfacing with commercial off-the-shelf tools, open source applications and in-house designed and developed tools to address human engineering issues for space design and analyses such as lighting and viewing, habitable volume and ergonomics.

  • Habitability Design Center

    Habitability Design Center

    NASA’s conceptual human-centered design studio – leveraging expertise in industrial design, architecture, and systems engineering to solve the unique challenges of living and working in extreme environments. The Habitability Design Center provides advanced spacecraft concepts using rapid prototyping and mockup fabrication techniques to acquire user and stakeholder feedback early in the design process.

  • Lighting Environment Test Facility

    Lighting Environment Test Facility

    Investigates and evaluates proposed lighting systems for use on space vehicles to enhance the crews' direct and indirect viewing, including characterization of existing lighting systems and graphical, math model based prediction of lighting and viewing properties.

  • Microbiology Laboratory

    Microbiology Laboratory

    This highly skilled interdisciplinary team serves as a NASA-wide resource for microbial issues associated with living and working in closed environments specializing in spaceflight operations, including requirements development, environmental monitoring (including enumeration, microbial characterization and identification), potable water analysis, crew diagnostics, food analysis, crew training, biosafety review of payloads, and flight hardware and technology development.

  • Space Radiation

    Space Radiation Analysis

    Provides 24/7/365 solar radiation environmental monitoring and manned spaceflight operations support. The Space Radiation Dosimetry Laboratory provides radiation dosimetry support through the measurement of crew radiation exposures and characterization of vehicle environments.

  • Space Toxicology

    Space Toxicology

    Provides expertise in space toxicology and new environmental technology development. Capabilities to assign toxic hazard levels of chemical compounds flown, perform offgas testing of flight hardware and modules, and monitor and analyze air quality in human space vehicles.

  • Eye Tracking Study for Medical Pack Design

    Usability Testing and Analysis Facility

    Provides analysis, evaluation and usability testing of crew interfaces for work areas and equipment. This includes computer displays and controls, workstation systems, or evaluation of entire spacecraft cabin or module habitable volume.

  • Water and Food Analytical Laboratory

    Water and Food Analytical Laboratory

    Expertise in environmental chemistry, food nutritional analysis, analytical quality assurance, toxicology, the development of water quality monitors, and water quality engineering. Capabilities to assess and monitor and evaluate water quality, and analyze nutritional content of food.

  • Space Food Systems Laboratory

    Space Food Systems Laboratory

    Produces and certifies all food provided by NASA for spaceflight missions. Ensures appetizing, nutritious, food systems that are safe and easy to prepare on-orbit. Capabilities also include research and development of new foods and food packaging for current and future space missions.

Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Facilities/Projects

  • Human Adaptation and Countermeasures (HACD) Biomedical Research and Operations Laboratories

    Biomedical Research and Operations Laboratories

    This collection of intramural life sciences discipline laboratories conducts peer-reviewed applied research as well as provides clinical testing and expertise. Scientists and physicians conduct biomedical research in- flight on ISS and Shuttle, as well as in spaceflight analog environments to better characterize the effects of living and working in space on human physiology and to evaluate the candidate countermeasures.

  • ISS Medical Project

    ISS Medical Project

    Maximizes the use the ISS and other spaceflight platforms to assess the effects of spaceflight on human systems, devise and verify strategies to ensure optimal crew behavior and performance; and develop and validate a suite of integrated physical (e.g., exercise), pharmacologic and/or nutritional countermeasures against deleterious effects of spaceflight that may impact mission success or crew health.

  • Telescience Support

    Telescience Support

    The Telescience Support Center (TSC) provides assigned payload services to the International Space Station (ISS), Space Transportation System (STS), SPACEHAB mission payloads, and other programs as required. The facility provides display and control capabilities using uniquely configured computer hardware and software to support payload experiments. The facility receives voice, video and data from external interfaces and provides these features to the JSC TSC users. Using state-of-the-art technology and Intranet concepts, TSC processes and distributes engineering and science data to the associated user communities. The TSC also provides payload users access to various data and information management services.

  • Radiation Biophysics

    Radiation Biophysics

    Provides the analysis of cellular and molecular damages in astronauts due to space radiation exposure. Using biodosimeters, and state-of-the art cytogenetic biomarker detection techniques, it ensures and records critical health critical health assessment of astronaut radiation exposure records assessment of astronaut exposure for overall astronaut health and safety.

  • Biomedical Research and Countermeasures Projects

    Biomedical Research and Countermeasures Projects

    Manage projects that develop deliverables (requirements, prescriptions, and hardware) for research and flight programs. Manage the capability for scientists to conduct ground evaluations using spaceflight analogs, providing access to spaceflight platforms for flight validation and certification of countermeasures, and transitioning countermeasures from research to on-orbit operations.

Space Medicine Facilities

  • Medical Informatics and Health Care Systems

    Medical Informatics and Health Care Systems

    Ground and space-based clinical capabilities and secure medical information solutions and medical systems that enable data acquisition, data analysis, and data distribution of medically relevant data, information and knowledge.

  • Medical Monitoring, Operations, and Rehabilitation

    Medical Monitoring, Operations, and Rehabilitation

    Medical experts and laboratories to provide diagnostic and medical treatment to crewmembers through all phases of preflight training, during on-orbit operations (through telemedicine), and during postflight recovery and rehabilitation.

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