Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




SPACE MEDICINE
ESA Works Up A Space Fever
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) May 18, 2015


ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers exercising on the International Space Station during his PromISSe mission in 2012. Astronauts exercise 90 minutes a day in space to keep fit. Image courtesy ESA/NASA. For a larger version of this image please go here.

It started with a simple question that ended with a surprising answer and new technology that is being used in cutting-edge heart surgery and could save millions of euros in hospital bills. Hanns-Christian Gunga, working at the Center for Space Medicine and Extreme Environments in Berlin, Germany, has spent a lifetime working on how humans adapt to extreme environments and he wanted to know: what happens to an astronaut's body temperature in space?

People on Earth lose much of their body heat through convection - air around you is replaced by cooler air as it heats on the skin of your warm body and rises. Turning on a fan on a hot day can speed up the process and cool you down quicker as the air passes over and whisks some of the body heat away.

On the International Space Station there is no convection because of weightlessness and astronauts have reported feeling hot since the earliest days of spaceflight. ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers recounts: "Especially during exercise I would feel hot, afterwards I would always float to a fan to cool down."

Thermolab
To understand what is happening you would need to continuously monitor astronaut's body temperatures in space for a long period of time. The Thermolab experiment was born, but first a practical problem needed to be overcome.

Depending on where and when you measure your temperature a thermometer will give a different reading. Your body temperature is lower in your feet and lowest between four and six in the morning. Researchers and doctors refer to core body temperature - the temperature in your chest - to compare readings.

Measuring core body temperature is not straightforward because a thermometer must be placed as close to your heart for best results. Many types of thermometers exist, from the under-your-tongue to the stick-in-your-ear variety but unfortunately the most accurate way of reading a core temperature was to insert a thermometer into your rectum.

Aside from the discomfort, this method has many impracticalities: it is time-consuming and asking astronauts to stop their work to insert a thermometer was not considered an option.

Professor Gunga decided to use a new technique he had developed and tested on firefighters, measuring the difference in heat radiated from the forehead. A simple calculation then reveals core body temperature with great accuracy.

Eleven astronauts strapped with these sensors recorded their temperature over two sessions after three months in space and just before returning to Earth.

The sensor works so well that it is used in extreme environments by firefighters and in Antarctica, as well as during the Mars500 study.

A thermometer that can be read from a distance and continuously records very accurate data has enormous potential. The sensor is already being used in open-heart surgery on children but as a general instrument in hospitals it offers better and cheaper monitoring of patients.

Don't forget the astronauts
The experiment shows that an astronaut's temperature rises by 1+ C during the first two months and stays there until it drops back to normal on return to Earth.

Comparing data to other studies shows a correlation with Interleukin-1, a hormone that causes fever when sick. Raising body temperature by a degree requires 20% more energy, derived from food, so mission planners need to know more about this phenomenon in order to estimate the required food supplies for long missions.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Center for Space Medicine and Extreme Environments
Space Medicine Technology and Systems






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE MEDICINE
Researchers Receive Grant to Send Worms into Space
Lubbock TX (SPX) Mar 23, 2015
It is common knowledge that the longer humans spend in space, the longer it takes them to regain muscle strength upon their return to earth. The biggest question is, why. With the help of Caenorhabditis elegans, one Texas Tech University researcher hopes to find out. C. elegans has been to space multiple times, and thanks to Siva Vanapalli, they will head to the International Space Station ... read more


SPACE MEDICINE
NASA's LRO Moves Closer to the Lunar Surface

European Space Agency Director Wants to Set Up a Moon Base

Russia Invites China to Join in Creating Lunar Station

Japan to land first unmanned spacecraft on moon in 2018

SPACE MEDICINE
Exploring the 'Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

The First Martian Marathon

Technique for finding signs of life on the Red Planet

Quick Detour by NASA Mars Rover Checks Ancient Valley

SPACE MEDICINE
NASA Challenges Designers to Construct Habitat for Deep Space Exploration

The Moon or Mars: Flawed Debate, False Choice - Part One

Young Innovators Bring Creations to Life in NASA Goddard Spinoff Challenge

Photonic Laser Thruster Propels Simulated Spacecraft

SPACE MEDICINE
3D printer making Chinese space suit parts

Xinhua Insight: How China joins space club?

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

SPACE MEDICINE
ISS Partners Adjust Spacecraft Schedule

Samantha's longer stay on ISS

Italian astronaut shows how to use restroom on ISS online

Russia delays return of ISS crew members after supply ship failure

SPACE MEDICINE
Commission on Proton Rocket Failure to Finish Investigation by End of May

DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1 integrated for Ariane 5 heavy-lift mission

Russia to Launch US Comms Satellite Into Space

Report: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket certified to fly NASA missions

SPACE MEDICINE
Weather forecasts for planets beyond our solar system

Astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets

Astronomers detect drastic atmospheric change in super Earth

New exoplanet too big for its star

SPACE MEDICINE
Light it up: Materials crystallize with surprising properties

ISRO to launch first indigenous multi-object tracking radar in next 3 months

India to test its home-made multi-object tracking radar next month

The Internet wants a laser mounted on the space station




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.