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Human Space Travel Research

From studies that seek to understand how the human body adapts to time in space to research on spacesuits and spacecraft, NASA works to ensure the safety of astronauts as they push the boundaries of space exploration.

CSA astronaut and Expedition 57/58/59 Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques conducts generic blood collection operations (OPS) in the Columbus European Laboratory.

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Flight Engineer Drew Morgan strikes a pose (flexing his muscles) in the Quest Airlock (A/L) during preparations for Extravehicular Activity 61 (EVA 61). Photo was taken using an EVA camera.

The Body in Space

Spaceflight affects bones, muscles, vision, and more. Learn about the changes humans may undergo during spaceflight, as well as the steps NASA takes to keep astronauts healthy and safe.

image of astronauts Alexander Gerst and Serena Auñón-Chancellor collecting blood samples from themselves inside ISS

Research in Space

NASA seeks to understand how the human body changes while astronauts live and work on the space station. Learn how scientists work to maintain the health and well-being of crew members during and after their missions.

Researchers are pictured outside the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), located at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The closed habitat is a unique 650-square-feet space that is split among two floors and a loft, designed to serve as an Earth-bound mission for isolation, confinement, and remote conditions in exploration scenarios.

Research on Earth

NASA conducts Earth-bound simulations of life in space. Learn how scientists use such missions to study the way humans adapt to challenges astronauts may encounter on journeys to the Moon and Mars.

(From left) Frank Rubio, Mark Vande Hei, Scott Kelly, Christina Koch, and Peggy Whitson are pictured in a composite image. All five NASA astronauts have spent an extended amount of time in space.

Extended Stays in Space

Frank Rubio, Mark Vande Hei, Scott Kelly, and others have spent an extended amount of time in space. Learn about the record-holders for the longest continuous spaceflights by U.S. astronauts.

Featured Story

Top Five Technologies Needed for a Spacecraft to Survive Deep Space

When a spacecraft built for humans ventures into deep space, it requires an array of features to keep it and…

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Food in Space

Astronauts require food that is nutritious, appetizing, long-lasting, easy to make, and more. We strive to continuously improve the quality of space food and to satisfy the dietary needs of crew members on increasingly longer and more distant spaceflight missions.

Space Simulations on Earth as a Research Tool

Take a peek into the lives of crew on a simulated mission to Mars. Confined inside NASA's Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), these crew help researchers study how teams overcome isolation and confinement to accomplish mission-critical tasks. 

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The crew of NASA's Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) Campaign 6 Mission 4 poses for a photo together inside the habitat.
Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

Benefits to Humanity

Space exploration unites the world to inspire the next generation, make ground-breaking discoveries, and create new opportunities.

Technologies and missions we develop for human spaceflight have thousands of applications on Earth, boosting the economy, creating new career paths, and advancing everyday technologies all around us.

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Astronaut Karen Nyberg and Astronaut Chris Cassidy (partially visible), both Expedition 37 flight engineers, perform an Ocular Health (OH) Fundoscope Exam in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station
Credit: NASA