COVID-19 Update: Information and resources can be found here.

Space research keeps astronauts from fainting

Fifty years after the Apollo 11 moon landing, UT Southwestern cardiology researchers have learned how to prevent astronauts from fainting after landing back on Earth.


This study used a unique device called the Portapres. It's a fantastic engineered device which allows us to put a blood pressure cuff on your finger, and measure your blood pressure with every heartbeat. This was the first time that we've measured blood pressure for a full 24 hours after space flight under a variety of different normal daily life activities. So the two things that we've been proposing for many years, do enough exercise to reserve the heart's muscle, volume-load them when they come back down, turned out nobody fainted. It's very compelling evidence that this is a very powerful way to reduce the frequency of orthostatic hypotension and fainting. I think it reflects an important milestone in space-flight research, not so much because of the research that we did, but because it emphasizes really the next step in human exploration.