Human Factors and Space Medicine

The Human Factors and Space Medicine short course introduces the role of medicine in manned space missions. The course provides an overview of major issues in human factors and space medicine as they relate to manned space flight. Participants will broaden their understanding of how human factors and space medicine relate to the various relevant engineering fields. No medical background is needed; this course is designed for engineers and technical professionals.
What You Will Learn:
Human Factors and Space Medicine offers an engineering-based approach to the very popular and useful Medical School for Lawyers courses that are offered to practicing lawyers. This course assumes that participants have a very basic familiarity with physics and are able to use this knowledge to help explain the relevant physiological principles. Day 1 - Networking dinner with fellow students Day 2 - Full day of instruction from 8:00am to 5:00pm Day 3 - Half day instruction ending at 1:00pm Specific topics to be explored:
  • An overview of normal pulmonary and cardiac physiology is presented as it relates to respiration at sea level, various altitudes, and in space. The interactions of atmospheric composition, ambient pressure, natural and assisted respiration is explained and related to aircraft/spacecraft life support systems.
  • The effects of prolonged acceleration in various directions on the human body are related to the physiological processes presented above. Various strategies to improve these effects are reviewed and the response of the human body to impact accelerations is discussed.
  • Microgravity and the associated biomedical issues are covered within the course along with possible methods of lessening the effects. Recovery from microgravity exposure is also considered.
  • The space radiation environment and its effects on biological systems is presented along with some basic background on exposure, dose-response relationships, mitigation, and current US regulations regarding exposure limits to radiation workers, astronauts, and the general population. The way in which potential space flight participants fit into these limitations is also discussed.
  • The human factors associated with long term spaceflight, as in crewed flight to Mars, colonization of the Moon, etc. is outlined in terms of issues related to life support system, individual health, genetic damage, and similar areas.
  • Current FAA-AST rules for human space flight participation are considered in terms of informed consent and safety considerations. These rules are also put into the broad context of the current regulatory environment.
  • Finally, the commercial implications of the various issues discussed during the course are explored.

Custom Programs

Interested in providing a customized offering of this course to your organization?
Learn More

Published on July 10th, 2017

Last updated on April 11th, 2023