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Living in Space

From the challenges of providing optimal nutrition to managing the risks posed by microgravity, scientists and engineers from NASA work to predict, assess, and solve the problems that humans encounter in space. Through such research, NASA can develop systems that help humans thrive in space.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 62 Flight Engineer Jessica Meir, wearing the "Penguin (пингвин)" suit, poses for a portrait in the U.S. 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

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.

Steps to Mars

Explore the steps we are taking to prepare humans for long-duration spaceflight. We aim to combine insights from Earth-based simulations of life in space with research conducted on the space station and on future Artemis missions to get NASA ready to send crew to deep space.

Space Gardening

Astronauts will need to grow — rather than solely bring — plants into space on trips to Mars and elsewhere. We test methods for nurturing crops in microgravity so that crew members can enjoy the fruits of gardening on deep space missions.

What will life be like on missions to deep space?

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 answer questions from students around the world. They share how they maintain their privacy, build strong group dynamics, cope with missing their families, adapt to unexpected circumstances, and more.

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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.
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