1996-07-01

Medical Operations at Mission Control Center-Houston 961347

The main objective of the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Medical Operations Team, comprised of Flight Surgeons and Biomedical Engineers (BMEs), is to provide crew health and safety during space flight. Currently, for Shuttle missions, the Surgeon and BME on console in the Mission Control Center - Houston work as a team to monitor cabin bioenvironmentals, manage toxic spills and hazardous materials in the cabin, conduct daily medical conferences, utilize private audio and video time for crew psychological support, and ensure Aeromedical Flight Rules are not violated. Workstation displays, medical kits, in-flight medical procedures, voice and video, internal mission documentation, and medical expertise are used to perform these job functions. Beginning with STS-70 in June 1995, mission support capabilities and efficiencies increased significantly with the use of the new control center at JSC. The Surgeons and BMEs have more interaction with the console computers and have more flexibility in their data display and analysis techniques. The conversion of reference books to electronic form is leading to a paperless control center environment. Further, the need for storage areas for paper backups is diminishing. The current Shuttle medical procedures, equipment, and computer resources will be augmented for International Space Station (ISS) operations. Medical hardware, inflight medical procedures, Aeromedical Flight Rules, and documentation will address the issues associated with long-duration space missions. On-site medical staffing may lessen, resulting in more on-call support requirements. The implementation of these modifications will provide crew health and safety on longduration ISS space flights.

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