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NASA’s Repository Supports Research of Commercial Astronaut Health  

Biological data from the Inspiration4 crew has been added to NASA’s Open Science Data Repository, giving researchers access to better understand the impact of space on the human body.
SpaceX/Inspiration4

NASA’s Open Science Data Repository provides valuable information to researchers studying the impact of space on the human body. Nearly three years after the Inspiration4 commercial crew launch, biological data from the mission represents the first comprehensive, open-access database to include commercial astronaut health information. 

Access to astronaut research data from astronauts has historically been limited, due to privacy regulations and concerns, but the field of astronauts is changing as commercial spaceflight becomes feasible for civilians.  

“Open-access data is fundamentally transforming our approach to spaceflight research,” said Dr. Sylvain Costes, project manager of the Open Science Data Repository. “The repository is instrumental in this transformation, ensuring that all space-related biological and biomedical data are accessible to everyone. This broad access is vital for driving innovation across fields from astronaut health to terrestrial medical sciences.” 

The collaborative efforts in opening data researchers has led to multiple scientific papers on astronaut health published in Nature in June. The papers represents research to better understand the impact of spaceflight on the human body, how viruses might spread in a zero-gravity environment, and how countermeasures may protect humans on future long-duration missions. 

Ongoing access to the data captured by commercial astronauts means the research can continue long after the crew returns to Earth, impacting the future of research beyond spaceflight, including cancer and genetic diseases and bone health. 

“This series of inspiring articles enabled by the repository and enriched by new data generously shared by commercial astronauts aboard the Inspiration4 mission exemplifies our commitment to open science,” said Costes. “By making our data fully accessible and usable, we’re enabling researchers worldwide to explore new frontiers in space biology.” 

NASA’s Open Science Data Repository is based out of the agency’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. NASA continues to pursue the best methods and technologies to support safe, productive human space travel. Through science conducted in laboratories, ground-based analogs, and missions to the International Space Station, NASA continues to research innovative ways to keep astronauts healthy as space explorations continues to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. 

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Tara Friesen

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