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R&D in Space Medicine

Research and development (R&D) in Space Medicine looks at how space affects humans’ physiological functions and mental state and examines countermeasures from a medical perspective.

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Features of Space Medicine Research

Astronauts go into space in a healthy condition and undergo physiological changes in space. These changes stabilize during their stay in space, but transformation occurs again when they return to earth. The astronauts then need to undergo rehabilitation before returning to their initial, stable condition. Space medicine researchers can observe and examine this entire process over a short period of time.

Space medicine researchers collect astronauts’ medical data before, during, and after their time in space, and look at how living away from earth can impact the human body.

Processes observed in space medicine research

Details on R&D

R&D for future human space activities

JAXA is engaged in research and development to examine what physiological and psychological changes humans undergo when reaching space beyond low Earth orbit, and to see what is necessary to counter these changes. Although this research is mainly to ensure that humans can stay healthy during their time in space, some of the results can also be applied to benefit people on earth.

Sunrise as seen from the International Space Station ©JAXA/NASA

Using the space environment for medical research

Earth as seen from the Cupola window ©JAXA/NASA

JAXA conducts varied research in unique environments that cannot be replicated on earth, including long-lasting microgravity. Although the main target of this research is to benefit human lives on earth, it can also be applied to help maintain the health of humans in space.