Astronauts Look at Ways to Prevent Space Headaches and Bone Loss

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli
Astronaut Paolo Nespoli checks out a science freezer inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module.

The crew today researched ways to alleviate headaches and reverse bone loss in space to improve mission performance. Meanwhile, the station’s three newest residents also checked out station emergency gear and systems.

Common ailments that afflict people on Earth such as headaches also affect astronauts in space impacting their mission activities. Astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Randy Bresnik are jotting down their experiences this week to help doctors understand space headaches. Observations may reduce their effects and improve performance during spaceflight and on Earth.

NASA astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson are studying a new drug for its potential to slow or reverse bone loss in space. They looked at bones in mice today to help determine the efficacy of the new drug.  The lack of gravity causes osteoporosis-like symptoms weakening bones in space possibly impacting crews returning to Earth and experiencing gravity for the first time in months.

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy joined his crewmates Nespoli and Bresnik this afternoon familiarizing themselves with the station’s emergency equipment. The new trio explored their new home in space taking note of safety gear locations and escape paths.


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Experienced Trio Brings Station Crew up to Full Speed

Astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Randy Bresnik
Astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Randy Bresnik are at work in their new home in space where they will live until mid-December.

Expedition 52 is now up to full speed with six crew members. The latest trio from the United States, Italy and Russia arrived Friday afternoon beginning a 4-1/2 month mission in space.

The new crew is familiarizing itself with International Space Station systems and getting used to life 250 miles above Earth’s surface. NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik is starting his second space mission and spent time on Tuesday replacing networking hardware in the Japanese Experiment Module.

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency is on his third spaceflight. Nespoli took part in the Sarcolab-3 study using the Muscle Atrophy Research & Exercise System (MARES) chair in the Columbus module. The data collected for Sarcolab-3 will be used to assess microgravity’s impact on muscle loss in astronauts, focusing specifically on the calf muscle in the leg.

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy begins his second mission aboard the station as a flight engineer. He last visited the orbital complex in 2013 with his Expedition 37-38 crewmates. Ryazanskiy conducted routine maintenance across the station’s Russian segment and assisted Nespoli during the Sarcolab-3 experiment session.


Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/