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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biomedical results of the Skylab Program.

Skylab, the fourth in a logical sequence of USA manned space flight projects following Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, presented life scientists with their first opportunity for an in-depth study of man's response to the space environment. Extensive medical investigations were undertaken to increase our understanding of man's adaptation to the space environment and his readaptation to gravity upon return to earth. The flight durations of the three Skylab missions were progressively increased from 28 days to 59 days and, finally, 84 days. The results of these investigations of the various body systems clearly demonstrated that man can adapt to zero gravity and perform useful work during long-duration space flight. However, definite changes (some unexpected) in the vestibular, cardiovascular, musculo-skeletal, renal and electrolyte areas were documented. The most significant were: the occurrence of space motion sickness early in the missions; diminished orthostatic tolerance, both in-flight and post-flight; moderate losses of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen; and decreased tolerance for exercise post-flight. The mechanisms responsible for these physiological responses must be understood and, if necessary, effective countermeasures developed before man can endure unlimited exposure to space flight.[1]


  1. Biomedical results of the Skylab Program. Michel, E.L., Johnston, R.S., Dietlein, L.F. Life sciences and space research. (1976) [Pubmed]
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