Thermoregulation in Humans During Long-Term Spaceflight (Thermolab) - 05.09.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Thermoregulation in Humans During Long-Term Spaceflight (Thermolab) investigates the thermoregulatory and cardiovascular adaptations during rest and exercise in the course of a long-duartion microgravity exposure.
Science Results for Everyone
Astronauts are hot! Core body temperature rises faster when exercising on the space station than on Earth, increasing by 1-1.5 degrees C the first six weeks. The body also takes longer to cool down after exercise in flight. This investigation looked at heat-regulating and cardiovascular adaptations during rest and exercise in microgravity. Its measurements can be used to evaluate state of fatigue, which is important to mission success, and the non-invasive sensor used in the investigation could help in recognizing early signs of fatigue during spacewalks, for example. On Earth, it could be used in extreme working conditions, such as firefighting or flying jets, and for monitoring during surgery or in infant incubators.

The following content was provided by Hanns-Christian Gunga, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Thermolab

Principal Investigator(s)
Hanns-Christian Gunga, Ph.D., Charité,Center of Space Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Philippe Arbeille, M.D., Universite Francois-Rabelais, Tours, France
J. Cornier, Denmark
H. V. Heyer, Denmark
P. Hofmann, Denmark
K. Kirsch, France
E. Koralewski, Denmark
F. Sattler, Denmark
J. Koch, Denmark
T. Schlabs, Germany
A Werner

Information Pending

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
October 2009 - March 2013

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Thermolab was first operated on Increment 19/20.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • It is hypothesized that heat balance, thermoregulation and circadian temperature rhythms are altered in humans during long-term space flights because of changes in the natural convective heat transfer from the body surface to the environment; changes in fluid shifts along the body's axis from peripheral to central parts; changes in the cardiovascular system; changes in the autonomous nervous system; and changes involving the metabolism and body composition. Since these factors are particularly cross-linked with each other in view of thermoregulation, an integrative study of the topic under microgravity conditions is mandatory.

  • This study aims to investigate the thermoregulatory and cardio-vascular adaptations during rest and exercise in the course of a long-term micro-g exposure.

Information Pending

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Space Applications
The information obtained by this study will lead to a better basic understanding of heat transfer and the thermal regulation in humans under weightless conditions.  Such data will help with monitoring and maintenance of astronaut health and well-being in orbit.

Earth Applications
By studying alterations in heat balance, thermoregulation and circadian temperature rhythms in space, we also get a greater understanding behind the mechanisms by which these systems work on Earth.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
Information Pending

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Results Publications

    Stahn AC, Werner A, Opatz O, Maggioni MA, Steinach M, von Ahlefeld VW, Moore Jr. AD, Crucian BE, Smith SM, Zwart SR, Schlabs T, Mendt S, Trippel T, Koralewski E, Koch J, Chouker A, Reitz G, Shang P, Rocker L, Kirsch KA, Gunga HC.  Increased core body temperature in astronauts during long-duration space missions. Scientific Reports. 2017 November 23; 7(1): 16180. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15560-w.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites

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