Planning a pilot project on the ISS for crew health management & maintenance beyond LEO

Wolfgang Fink, Alexandre Popov, Andrew Hess

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Long duration missions present numerous risks to crew health and performance. The international space community is actively studying these effects and possible mitigation techniques, but much work remains to be done. As such the space community and space agencies are increasingly cooperating to enable timely answers in support of exploration mission needs. Crew health and performance are critical to successful human exploration. Long-duration missions bring numerous risks that must be understood and mitigated in order to keep astronauts healthy, rather than treat a diagnosed health disorder. Crewed missions venturing beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) will require technology solutions for crew health care to address physiological, psychological, performance, and other needs in-situ, e.g., self-sufficiency, as an emergency or quick-return option will not be feasible. Therefore, onboard capabilities that would allow for early self-diagnosis of impending health issues, and autonomous identification of proper responses on negative trends to keep astronauts healthy are critical. With the absence of real-time medical ground support, personal health-tracking tools for health monitoring, health risk assessment and management are required for any crew member to predict her/his future health condition if no preventive measures are taken. This paper suggests a concept employing technologies from Prognostics and Health Management (PHM), namely real-time health monitoring and condition-based health maintenance in terms of predictive diagnostics. The International Space Station (ISS) is an excellent platform and currently the only 'test bed' on which to prepare for future manned exploration missions. Examples of present, i.e., currently deployed, and planned/envisioned future health management & maintenance technologies on the ISS are presented. However, the exploration beyond low-Earth orbit will require a new generation of capabilities and systems, which build on existing capabilities and incorporate technologies yet to be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Print)9781479916221
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference - Big Sky, MT, United States
Duration: Mar 1 2014Mar 8 2014

Publication series

NameIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1095-323X


Other2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Sky, MT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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