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Human Health Countermeasures

The Human Health Countermeasures (HHC) element seeks to understand the physiologic effects of spaceflight and develop strategies to mitigate those with detrimental effects on human health and performance.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain exercises in the Node 3 module.

About HHC

The Human Health Countermeasures (HHC) element apart of NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) provides biomedical expertise for the development and assessment of medical standards, vehicle and spacesuit requirements, and safeguards that ensure crew health during all phases of flight. These safeguards include:

  • Pre-flight safeguards like physical fitness and exercise regimens, as well as physiologic adaptation training. Prior to flight testing, candidate profiles are developed and refined using ground-based studies.
  • In-flight safeguards involving nutritional health, physical fitness, pharmaceuticals, and sensory-motor training protocols.
  • Post-flight safegards emphasizing rehabilitation strategies and target a return to health on Earth.

HHC is comprised of five portfolios that address physiological research, safeguard validation, and technology development. The portfolios are known as: Vision and CardiovascularExercise and PerformanceMulti-SystemBone, and Technology and Infrastructure.

HHC partners with external organizations to develop safeguards that mitigate spaceflight health risks and develop technologies that reduce resource consumption for humans that live and work in space. Individual and team investigators interested in working with HHC specifically and HRP in general can learn more at HRP’s collaboration portal.