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The Neurolab Spacelab Mission: Neuroscience Research in Space: Results From the STS-90, Neurolab Spacelab Mission

The Neurolab Spacelab Mission: Neuroscience Research in Space: Results From the STS-90, Neurolab... edited by Jay C. Buckey, Jr, Jerry L. Homic, 341 pp, with illus, $67, ISBN 0-9725339-0-7, Houston, Tex, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2003. One mission, 16 days, 26 experiments—The Neurolab Spacelab Mission was the culmination of 5 years of preparation by the international neuroscience community to push the frontier of scientific and technological knowledge in the Decade of the Brain. The space shuttle Columbia, doomed on a subsequent science mission, carried the crew of 7 aloft in 1998 to study the effects of space flight on living organisms, from rats to human beings. The results of previous biomedical missions, such as the Spacelab-1 and IML-1, have been published in various forms, ranging from the only book Biomedical Results from Skylab to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) publications and individual papers in separate disciplines. Books endure and The Neurolab Spacelab Mission is an outstanding example of how to construct a reference that cuts across many physiologic systems, all responding to removing the identical factor of gravity as we know it on Earth. The book’s 5 scientific sections take the reader on a voyage to discover the vulnerability and adaptability of Earth’s living tissues. Undaunted by the complexity of designing experiments to pass the rigorous demand of NASA’s safety reviews discussed in the “Technical Reports” chapter and the frustration of having limited numbers of subjects and data takes, the international investigators have bravely gone where no one has gone before. Some results are predictable, some bearing little fruit, and others opening a few new Pandora’s boxes. For example, the chapter “Sleep and Respiration in Microgravity” concludes that although sleep is of poor quality in space, the data suggest that if sleep disturbances occur, they involve factors other than the respiratory system. The illustrations in black and white and color provide insight into fundamental and complex neuroscientific principles and describe what life was like for the astronaut crew, which is also revealed in the chapter “Crew Perspectives.” The references reflect the paucity of previous work done in space in life science research underscoring the value of this text. Instead of isolating results per discipline in different publications, this inclusive book encourages one to look beyond one’s own science into other worlds that could stimulate new thoughts and ideas. Having flown in space, I recognize that there are fundamental differences in the way we approach and conduct science in such an extreme environment. This book speaks to the baby steps that we are taking because of the rare opportunities to access space and the extreme difficulties inherent in a system that tries to balance the often disparate cultural and political needs and aspirations of an international scientific community. Perhaps the greatest gift of space flight and the Neurolab Mission is to remind us that living organisms have integrated systems that cannot be separated but should be studied as a whole. Things that effect the vestibular system, for example, may be greatly influenced by responses of blood flow to the brain and changes within its basic fluid dynamics. Within the Decade of the Brain, neuroscience has taken one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. Prose ★★★★ Illustrations ★★★★ Science ★★★★ Usefulness ★★★★ Back to top Article Information Correspondence: Dr Bondar, Roberta Bondar Astronaut Enterprise, 530 Balliol St, Toronto, ON M4S 1E3, Canada. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Neurology American Medical Association

The Neurolab Spacelab Mission: Neuroscience Research in Space: Results From the STS-90, Neurolab Spacelab Mission

Archives of Neurology , Volume 62 (8) – Aug 1, 2005

The Neurolab Spacelab Mission: Neuroscience Research in Space: Results From the STS-90, Neurolab Spacelab Mission

Abstract

edited by Jay C. Buckey, Jr, Jerry L. Homic, 341 pp, with illus, $67, ISBN 0-9725339-0-7, Houston, Tex, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2003. One mission, 16 days, 26 experiments—The Neurolab Spacelab Mission was the culmination of 5 years of preparation by the international neuroscience community to push the frontier of scientific and technological knowledge in the Decade of the Brain. The space shuttle Columbia, doomed on a subsequent science mission, carried the crew...
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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-9942
eISSN
1538-3687
DOI
10.1001/archneur.62.8.1314-b
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

edited by Jay C. Buckey, Jr, Jerry L. Homic, 341 pp, with illus, $67, ISBN 0-9725339-0-7, Houston, Tex, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2003. One mission, 16 days, 26 experiments—The Neurolab Spacelab Mission was the culmination of 5 years of preparation by the international neuroscience community to push the frontier of scientific and technological knowledge in the Decade of the Brain. The space shuttle Columbia, doomed on a subsequent science mission, carried the crew of 7 aloft in 1998 to study the effects of space flight on living organisms, from rats to human beings. The results of previous biomedical missions, such as the Spacelab-1 and IML-1, have been published in various forms, ranging from the only book Biomedical Results from Skylab to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) publications and individual papers in separate disciplines. Books endure and The Neurolab Spacelab Mission is an outstanding example of how to construct a reference that cuts across many physiologic systems, all responding to removing the identical factor of gravity as we know it on Earth. The book’s 5 scientific sections take the reader on a voyage to discover the vulnerability and adaptability of Earth’s living tissues. Undaunted by the complexity of designing experiments to pass the rigorous demand of NASA’s safety reviews discussed in the “Technical Reports” chapter and the frustration of having limited numbers of subjects and data takes, the international investigators have bravely gone where no one has gone before. Some results are predictable, some bearing little fruit, and others opening a few new Pandora’s boxes. For example, the chapter “Sleep and Respiration in Microgravity” concludes that although sleep is of poor quality in space, the data suggest that if sleep disturbances occur, they involve factors other than the respiratory system. The illustrations in black and white and color provide insight into fundamental and complex neuroscientific principles and describe what life was like for the astronaut crew, which is also revealed in the chapter “Crew Perspectives.” The references reflect the paucity of previous work done in space in life science research underscoring the value of this text. Instead of isolating results per discipline in different publications, this inclusive book encourages one to look beyond one’s own science into other worlds that could stimulate new thoughts and ideas. Having flown in space, I recognize that there are fundamental differences in the way we approach and conduct science in such an extreme environment. This book speaks to the baby steps that we are taking because of the rare opportunities to access space and the extreme difficulties inherent in a system that tries to balance the often disparate cultural and political needs and aspirations of an international scientific community. Perhaps the greatest gift of space flight and the Neurolab Mission is to remind us that living organisms have integrated systems that cannot be separated but should be studied as a whole. Things that effect the vestibular system, for example, may be greatly influenced by responses of blood flow to the brain and changes within its basic fluid dynamics. Within the Decade of the Brain, neuroscience has taken one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. Prose ★★★★ Illustrations ★★★★ Science ★★★★ Usefulness ★★★★ Back to top Article Information Correspondence: Dr Bondar, Roberta Bondar Astronaut Enterprise, 530 Balliol St, Toronto, ON M4S 1E3, Canada.

Journal

Archives of NeurologyAmerican Medical Association

Published: Aug 1, 2005

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