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Flight Analogs Project

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Flight Analogs Project

Before new technologies are tested during flight, they are developed and refined using ground-based studies and flight analog environments. An analog is a scenario or environment with similar characteristics to the spaceflight environment. Example analog environments include head-down-tilt bed rest, undersea habitats, altitude chambers and extreme environments such as remote desert test sites and Antarctic outposts. The Flight Analogs Project assists HRP researchers by characterizing current and potential analogs, evaluating their relevance and similarity to spaceflight conditions, and matching the characteristics of analogs to requirements for research. The Project maintains an Analog Implementation Plan that matches investigators in the HRP Integrated Research Plan to a potential analog mission over a 5-year window. This 5-year plan is updated as analog missions are identified and utilized across NASA.

Ground-based analogs utilized recently included a NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aquarius facility in Florida, research stations, and expeditions in Antarctica. NASA bed rest studies are conducted at the Flight Analogs Research Unit (FARU), a dedicated facility located at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

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Page Last Updated: September 30th, 2013
Page Editor: Jeffrey Brief