Status Report

NASA Selects Proposal to Study Astronaut Health and Performance for Moon and Mars Missions

By SpaceRef Editor
September 30, 2021
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NASA has selected a proposal to help protect astronaut health and performance during future long-duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The selected proposal will investigate sensorimotor adaptations to spaceflight. This selected project will contribute to NASA’s long-term plans, which include crewed Artemis missions to the Moon and future missions to Mars.


The Human Research Program works to address the practical problems of spaceflight that impact astronaut health. Its research provides knowledge and technologies that could improve human health and performance during space exploration and aid the development of potential countermeasures for problems experienced during space travel. The organization’s goals are to help astronauts complete their challenging missions successfully and to preserve their long-term health. 


Dr. Vivekanand Vimal, a Research Scientist at Brandeis University, will  determine if sensorimotor training in Earth conditions with worn vibrational devices for feedback can improve performance on a task completed in a multi-axis rotating chair. The multi-axis rotating chair simulates disorientation in a spaceflight environment.   Evaluation of this preflight training program has the potential to add to the current suite of spaceflight countermeasures for human health, and to help address sensorimotor risk in space flight. The full title of this proposal is, “Vibrotactile Feedback as a Countermeasure for Spatial Disorientation During a Stabilization Task in a Spaceflight Analog Condition” and will receive $150k over a one-year period. 


This project was selected from 58 proposals received in response to the 2020 Human Exploration Research Opportunities Appendices C and D.  Science and technology experts from academia, government, and industry independently reviewed the proposals.  


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SpaceRef staff editor.