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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.

The Body in Space

What happens to the human body during spaceflight?

Spaceflight affects bones, muscles, vision, and more. Life on the International Space Station unfolds in close quarters, which could affect astronauts’ moods. Travel to the Moon, Mars, and beyond will require new systems to provide medical care far from Earth. Learn more about the changes humans may undergo during spaceflight, as well as the steps NASA takes to keep astronauts healthy and safe.

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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)
NASA astronaut and Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan flexes his muscles in an airlock of the space station.
Credit: NASA
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Spacewalk Spacesuit Basics

Spacesuits are much more than a set of clothes astronauts wear. However, like a set of clothes, different suits serve different…

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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