Kellie Gerardie, a U.S. Payload Specialist and Bioastronautics Researcher for the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS), will become this week the first astronaut to use the Astroskin wearable vital signs monitoring system on a suborbital flight.
This is an important milestone for the Astroskin research platform, because the wearable sensors will be worn for the first time during a whole mission: launch, adaptation to microgravity, and landing.
This will allow the IIAS to collect physiological data during critical stages of the spaceflight: from rest to 3g acceleration and then microgravity, an astronaut's body experience stress and needs to adapt to the constant changing environment while the Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spaceship leaves New Mexico for space and comes back. These changes can be measured using Astroskin's wearable sensors.
The Galactic 05 research mission spaceflight is scheduled to launch on November 2nd 2023 from Spaceport America, 32 km southeast of the city of Trust or Consequences, New Mexico.
The Bio-Monitor Astroskin system is used aboard the International Space Station since 2019 to conduct medical research on the effects of spaceflight on human physiology. Four research projects are currently ongoing, mostly focusing on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Its deployment in space has been funded by the Canadian Space Agency and the system has been used by astronauts from CSA, NASA, ESA, JAXA, and the UAE Space Agency.
Over the years, Astroskin has become a standard for complex, continuous vital signs monitoring for space research. The system was awarded the 2022 International Space Station Research Innovation Award for Human Health in Space by the American Astronautical Society.
Kellie Gerardie has been training with the Astroskin to collect baseline data for over a year. The use of Astroskin before, during, and after the flight will be supported the IIAS payload integration team: Yvette Gonzalez, Dr Shawna Pandya, and Dr Aaron Persad.
Read more about Astroskin wearable sensors: https://hexoskin.com/astroskin
Read more about the Galactic 05 mission space research program here.
Sultan Al Neyadi is an Emirati astronaut and one of the first two astronauts from the United Arab Emirates, along with Hazza Al Mansouri. As part of Expedition 69, he's participating in the longest Arab space mission in history!
Sultan Al Neyadi was launched into orbit February 26th, 2023 aboard SpaceX's Crew-6 mission, which was also carrying Astroskin resupply payload. He's involved in hundreds of scientific activities including 19 major scientific experiments for the UAE.
One of these experiments involves measuring his vital signs in the ISS space environment using the Bio-Monitor Astroskin wearable sensors system.
What I'm wearing isn't just any shirt. The Bio-Monitor smart shirt & headband I have on tracks vital health stats such as heart rate, blood pressure & more offering insights into our body's response to microgravity. This technology can be a game-changer for remote healthcare.🩺🔬 pic.twitter.com/e6YHC975kK— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) May 31, 2023
The Astroskin Bio-Monitor system first reached the International Space Station in December 2018, and has been commissionned by Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques in January 2019. The wearable vital signs monitoring system has since been used by astronauts to participate in one of the many ongoing research projects on human physiology in microgravity using the platform.
Astroskin is also used by hundreds of researchers on Earth to push the boundaries of medical knowledge.
Here's a list of space launches that carried Astroskin payloads as of June 2023:
Canadian Private Astronaut Mark Pathy and his crew members have been busy training at NASA Johnson Space Center ahead of the launch. The Axiom-1 mission was recently cleared by NASA and is set to blast off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in April. The mission is set to launch today on April 8, 2022.
You can watch the Launch Live here: https://youtu.be/5nLk_Vqp7nw
Ax-1 is the first mission involving an all-private crew of astronauts to reach the International Space Station. The mission will last 10 days with at least eight days are expected to be spent inside the ISS.
Mark Pathy, Axiom Space private Astronaut, will wear the Astroskin while staying on the ISS. He will conduct several research experiments including research on the effects of microgravity, chronic pain, and sleep disturbances. Mark will be joined on Ax-1 by fellow crew members Eytan Stibbe from Israel, Larry Connor, and Michael Lopez-Alegria from the United States.
A New Prospect for Astroskin and the Advancement of Space Research
Initially entirely funded by national space programs, space exploration is getting momentum with several private companies and individuals targeting Space as the next frontier. Hexoskin has collaborated with the Canadian Space Agency since 2012 on space projects, including the Astroskin (Bio Monitor).
Astroskin seamlessly integrates several sensors in one portable smart clothing to report continuously the vital signs remotely. Integrating a precise 3-lead ECG, and Body Inductance Plethysmography (RIP) sensors, Astroskin allows the ambulatory monitoring of the cardiac and lung function, previously only possible with bulky equipment previously available in laboratories. The Astroskin smart clothing also integrates a portable pulse oximeter for continuous blood oxygen and blood pressure monitoring, a skin temperature sensor, and a 3-axis activity sensor for activity and sleep monitoring.
The comfort and convenience of a smart textile explain why Astroskin is currently the health monitoring tool of choice for the ISS participating countries to conduct health research in microgravity and remotely monitor the vital signs of astronauts. More recently, we announced the upcoming mission of Astronaut Kellie Gerardi, set to conduct research with Astroskin on board a Virgin Galactic Flight. Since Astroskin is operational on board the ISS, it opens new opportunities for private astronauts and space companies to use Astroskin for their training and during spaceflight.
We are thrilled to see new missions such as the Ax-1 mission adding Astroskin to their toolkit to conduct meaningful research in Space and contribute like Mark Pathy to the advancement of science with important potential applications on earth and for future space exploration missions.
Washington, DC, USA (June 3rd, 2021): Virgin Galactic has announced a new contract to fly International Institute of Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) researcher Kellie Gerardi on a test flight of the company’s spaceflight system, during which Kellie will conduct experiments and test new healthcare technologies (including the Astroskin Bio-Monitor) while she's in space.
(Credits: Greentag89, Wikipedia)
The purpose of the research mission is to demonstrate and advance novel scientific research benefits and applications that the spaceflight system provides for human-tended payloads.
The mission will also demonstrate the potential of conducting human research in suborbital flight, building on the research and knowledge gained from a number of Kellie’s reduced gravity flight campaigns performed here on Earth, including with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
Virgin Galactic will be able to provide new benefits to the space science research community in the form of repeatability, affordability and quality of the weightless environment which have historically been barriers for many wanting to conduct human spaceflight research.
During the spaceflight, following the shutdown of the rocket motor, Kellie will unbuckle from her seat and undertake the actions necessary to complete each experiment during several minutes of weightlessness. Virgin Galactic will provide training and preparation so that she is fully equipped to carry out her job as mission specialist on this flight and provide on-site pre-flight support for each of the payload experiments.
Working with IIAS, NRC and CSA, Kellie has already operated each payload in reduced gravity flights and will be bringing that unique payload specialist experience to the research mission. The payloads will include bio-monitoring instrumentation, including the Astroskin Bio-Monitor wearable sensors system, developed by Hexoskin with the support of the Canadian Space Agency, that will measure the biological effects of launch, weightlessness, re-entry, and landing on spaceflight participants.
The Astroskin Bio-Monitor has been in operation in the International Space Station since 2019 and is used by space agencies (CSA, NASA, ESA), to monitor astronauts' vital signs in orbit. The Astroskin is also used on Earth by researchers of 5 continents for clinical research applications.
“This historic flight will demonstrate the role private space companies can play to advance our knowledge of human physiology in space, to prepare for future missions to the Moon and beyond” said Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, CEO and co-founder of Hexoskin. “Many private space companies are planning to use the Astroskin system for astronaut training and during spaceflight, because it’s already in operation in the International Space Station.”
For more information about Hexoskin's involvement in this test flight or the Astroskin wearable vital signs sensor system, please contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at 1-888-887-2044.
This week, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques is finalizing the setup of the Bio-Monitor, on the International Space Station!
This advanced smart shirt & health platform is designed to measure and record vital signs in microgravity environment. It will help keep an eye on astronauts' health and enable medical research in space by continuously measuring physiological data.
The Canadian Space Agency's Bio-Monitor is designed to easily send information to the ground, where scientists can monitor astronauts' physiology around the clock as they orbit the planet. Once operational it will be available for the next five years to all participating countries to the International Space Station.
To learn more visit the Astroskin page.
Source: Video - CSA/NASA
In September 2018, Hexoskin launched the Astroskin Research Platform to support various projects and health research on earth. The Astroskin is based on the Bio-Monitor and is further adapted to be used on earth. Astroskin offers an end-to-end platform to collect real-world evidence with space-grade garments that include sensors embedded in the fabric such as a 3-lead electrocardiogram, breathing sensors, pulse oximeter, blood pressure, skin temperature, and activity sensors.