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July 24, 1967

Space Medicine in Perspective: A Critical Review of the Manned Space Program

Author Affiliations

From Medical Research and Operations, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston.

JAMA. 1967;201(4):232-241. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130040028009

The second flight series of the US Manned Space Flight Program has just been concluded. The successful and safely conducted Mercury and Gemini programs have provided us with the first significant knowledge concerning man's capability to cope with the environment of space. We are eagerly looking forward to long-duration flights in the three-man Apollo series and the use of a space laboratory to be accomplished in the S-IVB orbital workshop. It seems timely to review our medical progress and knowledge concerning space medicine and to evaluate the course on which we are embarked.

Nineteen men have flown 25 manned flights, giving us a total weightless experience of some 2,000 man-hours. Three individuals have flown both single- and dual-crew spacecraft and four individuals have flown twice in the Gemini spacecraft. Summaries of these flight programs are presented in Tables 1 and 2. This massive flight experience, while literally only scratching the