NASA Technical Reports Server NTRS 20150021491: Evidence Report: Risk of Hypobaric Hypoxia from the Exploration AtmosphereReport as inadecuate



 NASA Technical Reports Server NTRS 20150021491: Evidence Report: Risk of Hypobaric Hypoxia from the Exploration Atmosphere


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Extravehicular activity EVA is at the core of a manned space exploration program. Some elements of exploration may be safely and effectively performed by robots, but certain critical elements will require the trained, assertive, and reasoning mind of a human crewmember. To effectively use these skills, NASA needs a safe, effective, and efficient EVA component integrated into the human exploration program. The EVA preparation time should be minimized and the suit pressure should be low to accommodate EVA tasks without causing undue fatigue, physical discomfort, or suit-related trauma. Commissioned in 2005, the Exploration Atmospheres Working Group EAWG had the primary goal of recommending to NASA an internal environment that allowed efficient and repetitive EVAs for missions that were to be enabled by the former Constellation Program. At the conclusion of the EAWG meeting, the 8.0 psia and 32% oxygen O2 environment were recommended for EVA-intensive phases of missions. After re-evaluation in 2012, the 8-32 environment was altered to 8.2 psia and 34% O2 to reduce the hypoxic stress to a crewmember. These two small changes increase alveolar O2 pressure by 11 mmHg, which is expected to significantly benefit crewmembers. The 8.2-34 environment inspired O2 pressure = 128 mmHg is also physiologically equivalent to the staged decompression atmosphere of 10.2 psia - 26.5% O2 inspired O2 pressure = 127 mmHg used on 34 different shuttle missions for approximately a week each flight. As a result of selecting this internal environment, NASA gains the capability for efficient EVA with low risk of decompression sickness DCS, but not without incurring the additional negative stimulus of hypobaric hypoxia to the already physiologically challenging spaceflight environment. This report provides a review of the human health and performance risks associated with the use of the 8.2 psia - 34% O2 environment during spaceflight. Of most concern are the potential effects on the central nervous system CNS, including increased intracranial pressure, visual impairment, sensorimotor dysfunction, and oxidative damage. Other areas of focus include validation of the DCS mitigation strategy, incidence and treatment of transient acute mountain sickness AMS, development of new exercise countermeasure protocols, effective food preparation at 8.2 psia, assurance of quality sleep, and prevention of suit-induced injury. Although missions proposing to use an 8.2-34 environment are still years away, it is recommended that these studies begin early enough to ensure that the correct decisions pertaining to vehicle design, mission operational concepts, and human health countermeasures are appropriately informed.



Author: NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Source: https://archive.org/







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