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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2019, Volume 13, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11684-017-0587-7

Physiological effects of weightlessness: countermeasure system development for a long-term Chinese manned spaceflight

State Key Laboratory of Space Medicine Fundamentals and Application, China Astronaut Research and Training Center, Beijing 100094, China

Accepted: 2018-04-25 Available online: 2018-04-25

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The Chinese space station will be built around 2020. As a national space laboratory, it will offer unique opportunities for studying the physiological effects of weightlessness and the efficacy of the countermeasures against such effects. In this paper, we described the development of countermeasure systems in the Chinese space program. To emphasize the need of the Chinese space program to implement its own program for developing countermeasures, we reviewed the literature on the negative physiological effects of weightlessness, the challenges of completing missions, the development of countermeasure devices, the establishment of countermeasure programs, and the efficacy of the countermeasure techniques in American and Russian manned spaceflights. In addition, a brief overview was provided on the Chinese research and development on countermeasures to discuss the current status and goals of the development of countermeasures against physiological problems associated with weightlessness.

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