1982-02-01

Metabolic Experiments on Spacelab-4 820831

Studies of human metabolism are being considered in five experiments. These investigations address physiological effects of zero gravity which have become evident in previous manned space flights, namely, negative Na, Ca and N balances, the resorption of bone, loss of red cell mass, cephalad migration of body fluids, and a shift in water balance. Although these effects have been fairly well established by pre- and postflight measurements, details of the mechanisms by which they occur remain largely unknown. Moreover, the data collected inflight, particularly during the first few hours of weightlessness, have been severely limited both in the amount of quantitative information obtained and with respect to the relative simplicity of the experimental techniques employed. During the Spacelab 4 mission, the acute stage of the response to zero gravity will be the main focus of attention of several experiments. Measurements conducted later in the mission will center on the adaptive phase of metabolic responses.

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