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Mission and Goals

The Human Health and Performance Directorate (HH&P)  is the primary organization focused on enhancing crew health and performance and mitigating the risks associated with human spaceflight. With three offices, three divisions and over 900 employees, all HH&P functions are ultimately aimed at achieving our mission: optimizing human health and performance throughout all phases of spaceflight

NASA Moon to Mars Selfie

In January 2012, the Directorate underwent a reorganization to better align its goals and strategies with those of the NASA Agency and JSC. The result was a refined vision and mission, and revised goals, objectives, and strategies. One of the first changes implemented was to rename the directorate from Space Life Sciences to Human Health and Performance  to better reflect our vision and mission. 

The most significant change in the directorate from the previous strategy was the integration of the Human Research Program and Crew Health and Safety activities.  This change enhanced integration of research and development with operations to better support human spaceflight and International Space Station (ISS) utilization. Today, HH&P is ideally positioned to  enable a more effective and efficient approach to human system risk mitigation.

The Human Health and Performance goals are to:

  • Lead human exploration and ISS utilization;
  • Lead human health and performance internationally;
  • Excel in management and advancement of innovations in health and human system integration;
  • Expand relevance to life on Earth and create enduring support and enthusiasm for space exploration.

We will achieve our goals by providing the following functions:

  • Optimize the integrated human system risk management process and continue to use the system to prioritize risks and execute tasks;
  • Define, develop, and maintain core capabilities and competencies;
  • Expand and strengthen strategic relationships;
  • Define, communicate and implement a customer-focused business model within the directorate;
  • Improve our customer focus;
  • Enhance internal and external communication in terms meaningful to our stakeholders, customers, and the general public.
Astronaut uses a fundoscope to image her eye
Visual Impairment Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) Syndrome was identified in 2005. It is currently NASA’s leading spaceflight-related health risk, and is more predominant among men than women in space. Here, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg of NASA uses a fundoscope to image her eye while in orbit.
Astronauts’ bodies change in a variety of ways during spaceflight, and some experience impaired vision. NASA is working to understand and prevent these changes, which may also help us understand and prevent related vision changes on Earth.