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Major accomplishments in nutritional sciences for support of human space travel have occurred over the past 40 y. This article reviews these accomplishments, beginning with the early Gemini program and continuing through the impressive results from the first space station Skylab program that focused on life sciences research, the Russian contributions through the Mir space station, the US Shuttle life sciences research, and the emerging International Space Station missions. Nutrition is affected by environmental conditions such as radiation, temperature, and atmospheric pressures, and these are reviewed. Nutrition with respect to space flight is closely interconnected with other life sciences research disciplines including the study of hematology, immunology, as well as neurosensory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, circadian rhythms, and musculoskeletal physiology. These relationships are reviewed in reference to the overall history of nutritional science in human space flight. Cumulative nutritional research over the past four decades has resulted in the current nutritional requirements for astronauts. Space-flight nutritional recommendations are presented along with the critical path road map that outlines the research needed for future development of nutritional requirements.

from: Nutrition. 2002 Oct;18(10):797-804. History of nutrition in space flight: overview. Lane HW, Feeback DL.

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