Providing for the health and wellness of the entire NASA workforce, discovering new insights into medicine, educating the next generation, and innovating for the benefit of space exploration and humanity.
Every mission comes down to the people that bring their skills to the table to make it happen. Our job is to keep those people healthy; from the folks doing the engineering on the ground to the astronauts on a distant planet, and everything in between. But it requires a systems approach, technical prowess in the spacecraft and it’s human systems integration, a deep understanding of physiology and medicine, a holistic mindset, and above all a haunting skepticism that at any moment something could go terribly wrong. The elation and joy after a mission is completed safely is always ephemeral for those in our profession, as our attentions are quickly turned to the risks and systems of the next mission, the next patient diagnosis, or the next challenge.
Dr. James D. “JD” Polk, NASA Chief Health and Medical Officer
Employee Assistance Program
NASA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is based on the Office of Personnel Management’s Work-Life recommendations. In the 1970s, EAP-related legislation passed, requiring EAP as an employee benefit in Federal agencies.
Animals used in NASA-supported activities receive humane and responsible care and use in accordance with federal animal welfare laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines. Any person who witnesses or suspects the misuse of animals, inadequate animal care, or other noncompliance is encouraged to report their concern(s) to the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Office of Research Assurance.
Technical Briefs are available for standards that offer technical data, background, and application notes for vehicle developers and medical professionals. These tech briefs integrate content from multiple standards and provide a quick, informative resource to reference when working with NASA-STD-3001.
Rules are needed for human research in commercial spaceflight. See what OCHMO's Marisa Covington and others have to say.
Successful 3D Printing of Human Meniscus on ISS
Researchers recently took tissue engineering to new heights when they leveraged the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory to successfully 3D print a human meniscus (a piece of cartilage in the knee joint).
NASA Spaceflight Human System Standards
Learn about NASA's approach to establishing and maintaining a set of Agency-level Spaceflight Human System Standards managed by OCHMO's David Francisco that enable human spaceflight missions by supporting astronaut health, safety, and performance.