The Skinsuit: A Wearable Countermeasure Suit and Load Monitoring System for Spaceflight
Rachel Bellisle, Ph.D. Student | DRΛPER Fellow
Abstract: Human spaceflight is accompanied by physiological changes, largely due to the lack of gravity, that can affect the health, safety, and performance of crew members. Countermeasures, such as exercise or pharmaceuticals, are used to mitigate negative physiological effects. The Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit (or “Skinsuit”) is a countermeasure garment for reduced gravity that reapplies axial loading to the body, aiming to attenuate bone mineral density loss, muscle atrophy, and spinal elongation. The Skinsuit has been tested in various studies over the past decade and shows promise as a musculoskeletal countermeasure. This presentation will detail three aims for the Skinsuit project: to 1) develop the next-generation Skinsuit with improvements to loading consistency, 2) investigate the Skinsuit’s sensorimotor effects, and 3) develop a ”smart” Skinsuit system for load monitoring.
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