Teaching Resources

Microgravity Experiments on the Cardiovascular System

Title: A Mission Specialist Conducts Experimental Procedures on the SLS-1 Mission
Description: STS-40 Mission Specialist M. Rhea Seddon, wearing a baroreflex neck pressure chamber, conducts the experiment Influence of Weightlessness Upon Human Autonomic Cardiovascular Control on the Spacelab Life Sciences 1 (SLS-1) mission. The baroreflex neck pressure chamber is a collar that stimulates the baroreceptors in the carotid artery. This test focuses on postflight cardiovascular deconditioning, specifically the carotid baroreflex, which adjusts heart rate and blood pressure.

Title: SLS-1 mission astronauts perform the central venous pressure portion of the Cardiovascular Adaptation to Microgravity Experiment
Description: Mission Specialist Jim Bagian is preparing to remove the catheter from Payload Specialist Drew Gaffney's arm. The equipment shown in the background is the System for Measurement of Central Venous Pressure (SMCVP). The SMCVP provides a means for measuring central venous pressure continuously while ambulatory.

Title: Measurement of Cardiovascular Output
Description: SLS-1 Mission Specialist Rhea Seddon performs cardiovascular experiments utilizing the bicycle ergometer. She is assisted by Mission Specialist Jim Bagian. The bicycle ergometer is an exercise bicycle that provides a quantitative measure of work done by a subject for experiments evaluating the effects of 0-g upon the cardiovascular system.

Title: Cardiovascular Conditioning aboard Mir
Description: A U.S. astronaut aboard the space station Mir performs his daily treadmill exercise. Inflight exercise that mimics the loading forces experienced in Earth gravity help to maintain cardiovascular capacity. This is essential for astronauts who live in orbit for months at a time, and experience greater levels of deconditioning than those on shorter shuttle missions.

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Title: Echocardiography aboard the STS-51D mission
Description: STS-51D astronauts Rhea Seddon and Jeff Hoffman performing cardiovascular echocardiography experiments. The echocardiograph uses ultrasound, computer image processing, and data storage to generate a two-dimensional real-time video display of the heart.

Title: Astronaut Owen Garriott lies in Lower Body Negative Pressure Device
Description: Scientist-Astronaut Owen K. Garriott, science pilot, lies in the Lower Body Negative Pressure Device (LBNPD) in the work and experiments area of the Skylab space station cluster in Earth orbit. The LBNPD (M092) Experiment is to provide information concerning the time course of cardiovascular adaptation during flight and to provide inflight data for predicting the degress of orthostatic intolerance and impairment of physical capacity to be expected upon return to Earth environment.