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Bringing Gravity to Space

Feasibility testing of a mobile lower-body negative pressure suit in microgravity by parabolic flight

Published onOct 04, 2023
Bringing Gravity to Space

The fluid shift experienced in microgravity is one of the causes of spaceflight-associated risks in humans, including spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS) inflight and orthostatic intolerance (OI) after the transition to Earth or partial gravity in future planetary landings.

This long-term cranial fluid shift, as the primary cause for the prevalence of SANS and OI, can be temporarily reversed by applying lower-body negative pressure (LBNP), decreasing intracranial pressure (ICP), unloading cerebral structures, and inducing baroreceptor stress.

We aim to investigate the feasibility of a mobile LBNP suit in microgravity by parabolic flight. This GravitySuit combines cardiovascular stress from caudal fluid redistribution with mechanical load on muscle and bones from ground-reaction forces. Physiological responses inflight can be compared to those obtained from posture changes in the laboratory.

PI Lonnie Petersen demonstrating Ground Reaction Forces with mobile GravitySuit.

Primary Goals:

  • Demonstrating the feasibility of mobile LBNP in 0G

  • Assess Ground Reaction Forces in 0 and potentially partial G

  • Monitor physiological reactions to LBNP by HR and cont. MAP

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