UTMB is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation to investigate how persons with common chronic diseases will respond to the forces of acceleration that are experienced during a typical commercial spaceflight. This is a new frontier in medicine.
We are looking for persons with chronic disease with an interest in expanding the frontiers of human spaceflight. You must have a chronic disease or diseases that are well controlled with medication or other treatment. The disease categories we are studying in this project are:
If selected, you will participate in a simulated sub-orbital spaceflight experience at the National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center centrifuge in Southampton, Pennsylvania while having your vital signs monitored for changes with the changing forces due to acceleration. Preliminary studies have shown a predictable and stable response to these forces. However, more data is needed so that the medical community can create guidelines to prepare future commercial spaceflight participants for their journey.
- high blood pressure
- cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease and arrhythmias
- respiratory diseases such as emphysema (COPD) and asthma
- history of neck or spine disease, injury, or surgery
Before being selected for this opportunity we will need your complete medical history, including the current state of your disease(s) and the methods of control and treatment. We will also require a medical screening exam. If selected, you will then travel to Southampton, Pennsylvania to the NASTAR Center facilities for a two-day research study. On the days of your simulated spaceflight experience you will receive training in centrifuge operations and a brief physical exam. You will then enter and ride the centrifuge. An audiovisual experience is projected inside the gondola and as the centrifuge spins you will experience forces similar to an actual sub-orbital spaceflight. Basic medical data such as pulse rate, blood pressure, oxygen concentration and other vital signs will be collected before, during, and after the simulation. We will also want you to tell us what you are feeling. During your simulated experience you will be in voice and video contact with the control room and the medical staff. You or the medical personnel can terminate the centrifuge run at any point. The data collected will be used to help create a profile of responses to acceleration with each disease state.
If you are selected for this study, we will provide the simulated spaceflight experience in the NASTAR Center centrifuge for free (a $3000 value). You must provide your own transportation to, and lodging in the Philadelphia area. We are unable to provide additional compensation other than the simulated spaceflight experience and your satisfaction knowing you are a pioneer opening access to space for a larger group of people than ever before.
This study will be conducted during the first half of 2013, but may extend into the 3rd quarter of the year.
Please Note: participation in the study requires two days of your time. The first day will be from 9:00 AM to approxomately 4:00 PM. The second day will be from 9:00 AM to approximately 3:00 PM. Travel to the Philadelphia area will be required.