COLORADOAN - In the not-to-distant future, NASA expects humans - not robots - to be exploring the surface of Mars. But before it can achieve its goal of landing astronauts on another planet, the agency needs to better understand the physical toll long-distance space travel takes on the human body.
Colorado State University researchers are working on that.
Led by Christian Puttlitz, associate professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, the CSU team is entering the final year of a three-year, $1.2 million project to study the impact of extended exposure to microgravity on human bone density. The team also includes researchers and students from CSU's Department of Health and Exercise Science and Department of Clinical Sciences.
The goal of the NASA-funded study is three-fold: Develop a new ground-based model that simulates bone density loss and can help estimate the risk of fractures in space; determine how bone breaks heal in microgravity; and identify potential in-flight treatments.
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