International Space Station Medical Working Groups

Medical personnel from each International Space Station (ISS) partner work together in the following groups to solve medical issues related to the ISS:

Acoustics Sub-Working Group

Mandate:

To support the Multilateral Medical Operations Panel (MMOP) in coordinating input from the international partners regarding acoustic issues for the maintenance of astronaut's health and optimal performance.

Examples of Issues:

  • ISS acoustic environment
  • In-flight monitoring of crew

Biomedical Training Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from international partners regarding:

  • Biomedical training of crewmembers, crew surgeons, and other biomedical mission support personnel
  • Training and certification documents and websites for biomedical training
  • Maintaining a training completion database
  • Planning crewmember hazardous duty training
  • Monitoring of the training plan implementation

Example of Activities:

  • Developing the Flight Surgeon training manual

Countermeasures Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from the international partners regarding:

  • Pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight assessments of physical fitness and exercise prescription
  • Countermeasure strategies, planning, and implementation

Examples of Issues:

  • In-flight fitness testing regimen implementation
  • Second generation treadmill requirements
  • In-flight exercise prescriptions
  • Countermeasure Evaluation and Validation Project (CEVP)
  • Success criteria/standards for return-to-duty post-mission

Environmental Health Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from international partners regarding:

  • Recommendations on medical and medical engineering issues for environmental quality assurance with respect to air and water, microbiology, acoustics and other physical parameters
  • Development, review, and updating of documents with medical and medical engineering requirements

The Environmental Health Working Group is composed of four sub-groups: air quality, water quality, microbiology and acoustics

Examples of Issues:

  • High noise levels on the ISS
  • Modification of on-orbit hardware to obtain accurate samples of the atmosphere on the ISS

Extravehicular Activity Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from the international partners regarding:

  • Utilization of research data and new technologies in Extravehicular Activity (EVA) support

Examples of Issues:

Human Behaviour and Performance Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from the international partners regarding:

  • Psychological adaptation and support
  • Behavioural health
  • Sleep and circadian health and fatigue monitoring
  • Human-system interface issues

Examples of Issues:

  • Psychiatric/psychological selection and certification standards
  • Content of psychological training of individual crewmembers and/or entire crews
  • In-flight behaviour and performance monitoring standards
  • Planning, provision, and coordination of pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight behaviour and performance support
  • Astronaut work/rest schedules
  • Emergency support of crewmembers experiencing difficulties in their performance or behaviour

In-flight Clinical Medicine Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from international partners regarding:

  • Provision of medical diagnostics, monitoring and care to the ISS crew
  • Develop and maintain standards for in-flight clinical care

Example of Issues:

  • Criteria for ordering the early termination of a flight due to medical reasons

Medical Informatics and Technology Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from international partners regarding:

  • The definition of technical means, rules and procedures to document and capture the provision of medical care
  • Effectively and securely share data among the ISS Medical Operations community

Examples of Issues:

  • Protection of medical and health-related data of all crewmembers and space flight participants

Medical Standards Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from the international partners regarding:

  • Requirements and procedures for Medical Assessment Testing (MAT) and managing the MAT database
  • Medical standards for ISS crewmember selection
  • Standards and procedures for periodic monitoring during training, pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight

Examples of Issues:

  • Management/access to MAT data
  • CEVP
  • Development of medical standards for spaceflight participants
  • On-going review of the Astronaut Medical Evaluation Requirement Document (AMERD)

Nutrition Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from the international partners regarding:

  • Nutritional requirements and methodologies for astronauts
  • Assessment of nutritional status
  • Validation and implementation of new nutrition strategies

Examples of Issues:

  • Nutritional status assessment
  • Nutrient intake requirements (e.g. dietary sodium, vitamin K, and iron)
  • Microbiological and toxin standards for food
  • Crew training (e.g. nutrition education, food preparation)
  • Menu list (e.g. provision of food items by international partners)
  • Food packaging

Radiation Working Group

Mandate:

To support the MMOP in coordinating input from the international partners regarding:

  • Radiation limits and control principles
  • In-flight dosimetry including radiation biodosimetry
  • Radiation exposure monitoring and dose management
  • Radiological equipment and procedures
  • Radiological training

Examples of Issues:

  • Exposure limits for radiation from space environment and man-made radiation sources
  • Radiation protection requirements and strategies
  • Crewmember radiation training content
  • Operational countermeasures
  • Radiation protection hardware responsibilities
  • Radiation monitoring requirements
  • Radiation health risk assessment procedures
  • Operational procedures
  • Radiation biodosimetry methodology
  • Non-iodizing radiation