The UTMB Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Division of Clinical Preventive Medicine provides physician support and services to Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group, the prime contractor for the Bioastronautics Contract at the National Aeronautics Space Administration Johnson Space Center (NASA-JSC). Support is provided in such areas as advanced projects, medical operations, behavioral health, and medical monitoring of scientific research. UTMB has many years of experience in providing board certified physicians in such specialties as Aerospace, Occupational, and Preventive Medicine, Family Practice, Internal Medicine, and Emergency Medicine. UTMB physicians are assigned to the Bioastronautics contract, and in collaboration with Wyle develop medical requirements and medical operations procedures for the International Space Station and support research at JSC.
Under the Contract, UTMB physicians provide services to Wyle and NASA including monitoring, safety oversight, and medical care for NASA astronauts, families, and staff at The Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Baikonur Cosmodrome and other related facilities. Physicians that support in Russia serve as ISS increment Deputy Crew Surgeons and are certified to work in the Mission Control Center in Houston and Korolev. They also support NASA at launch, landing and during training. UTMB/Wyle physicians are also provided to support the Medical Informatics and Health Care Systems Section and the Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Office.
Psychiatrist and flight surgeons in the Behavioral Health and Performance Section of the Bioastronautics contract support Space Medicine’s Clinical Services Branch of NASA Johnson Space Center. Physicians advise, administer, or perform professional and scientific work including prevention, diagnosis, therapy and referral in psychiatry and aerospace medicine. Services are provided to NASA employees and contractor employees. Additionally, assistance is provided with various aspects of mission preparation, in-flight services and post-flight recovery for crews and their families of ISS and other missions, as well as, for ground-based analog projects.
The Exploration Medical Capability Element of the NASA Human Research Program is charged with reducing the risk of the “inability to adequately recognize or treat an ill or injured crew member.” Physician element scientists seek to address identified gaps in knowledge or technology to ensure that the desired medical capabilities will be available for exploration missions.
Physicians provide medical support to the Human Test Subject Facility (HTSF), a component within the Crew Health and Research Department, which implements the scientific objectives of the Johnson Space Center. Services include examinations, providing medical clearance to and monitoring of test subjects participating in NASA sponsored studies, and in particular bed rest investigations at the Flight Analog Research Unit. UTMB also provides personnel and services to support scientific studies. Support services include, discipline expertise, biological sample transport processing and analysis, and performance of experiment-specific protocols.