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Computational Modeling

Computational modeling is the use of computers to simulate and study the behavior of complex systems using mathematics, physics, and computer science. Researchers at NASA Glenn are specifically helping to quantify spaceflight-induced changes in human physiology to help characterize the risks to astronauts during exploration missions.

Computational Modeling Projects

MEDPRAT intends to deliver a means to quantify how HRP products impact astronaut medical and health risks and is extensible to the majority of exploration missions.

Medical Risk Assessment

Quantifying risks associated with long duration exploration missions is essential to minimize negative impacts such as Loss of Crew Life, Evacuation and Quality Time Lost. Because mission planners view humans as one of several subsystems that comprise an exploration mission, the ability to quantify human risk enables mission planners to balance it against other system … Read the rest ⇢

General Digital Astronaut


There exists very limited data for determining the effectiveness of human health and performance countermeasures intended to preserve astronaut health during long duration space exploration missions. Exercise countermeasures used in the Space Shuttle Program and on the International Space Station do not eliminate bone loss or muscle deconditioning. Without an effective countermeasure, astronauts lose bone … Read the rest ⇢


Renal Stone Incidence Rate Quantification

Renal stones are small rock-like deposits of calcium oxalate crystals and other minerals that form in the kidneys or urinary tract. Astronauts are at an increased risk of developing a renal stone due to an increase in bone demineralization during long-duration spaceflight exploration and when exposed to reduced gravity. As bone loss occurs, the body … Read the rest ⇢

Computational models that can study a biological system at multiple levels, including changes at the tissue and organ level, are called multiscale modeling.

Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome

In several cases, astronauts have experienced lasting changes in their visual acuity when they returned to earth after long-duration spaceflight missions aboard the International Space Station. Referred to as spaceflight associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS), no clear explanation as to why such ophthalmic changes might occur in microgravity currently exists. It has been proposed by space … Read the rest ⇢

Today, scientific computing is vital to NASA’s research programs. It is used to help solve research problems that cannot be solved through experimental approaches that have safety hazards, and are time consuming or expensive. NASA GRC uses computational modeling in the HRP to assist in the understanding of many conditions and potential outcomes of human research in long duration, microgravity environments.

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