Tuesday, September 05, 2023

NASA ScienceCasts: The CIPHER Project

NASA ScienceCasts: The CIPHER Project

NASA’s new Human Research Program project, CIPHER, integrates 14 multi-disciplinary investigations and examines multiple astronauts across different mission durations over the course of many years.

CIPHER: https://www.nasa.gov/cipher/

Before astronauts embark on a multi-year venture to Mars, NASA must learn everything possible about how humans adapt to long-duration missions in space. This is why the agency developed the Complement of Integrated Protocols for Human Exploration Research program, or CIPHER.

CIPHER takes a full-body approach, investigating how multiple systems in the body react to spaceflight over increasingly longer mission durations. To this end, CIPHER includes:

Fourteen studies conducted across short-duration missions (less than ~3.5 months), standard-duration missions (between ~3.5 to ~8 months), and extended-duration missions (longer than ~8 months), and

As many as 30 astronauts will contribute to all 14 CIPHER studies—with up to 10 astronauts contributing to each mission-duration category. 

The 14 CIPHER studies involve careful examination of how spaceflight affects:

Bone and joint health

The brain and behavior

The cardiovascular system

Exercise performance

Sensorimotor systems, including how astronauts maintain balance


Biomarkers of muscle, bone, vascular, and organ health

The studies will be performed before, during, and after flight. Data will be gathered from participating astronauts through biological samples, eye and vision exams, cognition and behavioral tests, cardiovascular exercises, ultrasounds, MRIs, and other technologies and techniques.

These data will be combined with baseline information taken from all astronauts as part of the Standard Measures project.

All data will then be fully integrated into one set, so that scientists can gain a comprehensive view of how increasingly longer missions affect the entire human body.

An international partnership of space agencies provides and operates the elements of the International Space Station (ISS). The principals are the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada. The ISS has been the most politically complex space exploration program ever undertaken.

Video Credit: NASA

Duration: 3 minutes, 25 seconds

Release Date: Aug. 24, 2023

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