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.
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.