September 26, 2023
BEIJING – China has the capability to protect astronauts from the effects of a weightless environment for 180 days in space, said experts at a two-day forum on aerospace medicine that ended on Friday.
Progress in this area has provided theoretical support and a technical platform for research into cardiovascular health, musculoskeletal systems, neurodegenerative diseases, human aging and drug screening.
Speaking at the forum, Zhang Lu, who stayed in space for 186 days during the Shenzhou XV crewed mission, said the country’s space medical support is timely and reliable, weightlessness protection is diverse and effective, and aerospace medical experiments have achieved fruitful results.
The Shenzhou XVI crew, currently carrying out its mission aboard China’s Tiangong space station, sent a message to the forum, saying the space station has entered the application and development stage, the manned lunar mission has been initiated and a national key laboratory for aerospace medicine has been established. According to the crew, these advancements will bring fresh opportunities for the development of aerospace medicine.
Li Yinghui, a researcher from the China Astronaut Research and Training Center, said its research team has been focusing on medical challenges induced by microgravity, space radiation and other space environmental factors over the past 30 years since the initiation of the country’s manned space program.
Li noted that a protection system for the physiological effects of weightlessness in medium and long-term manned spaceflight has been created, and a comprehensive countermeasure protection system covering the entire mission cycle has been developed.
“We have also built a systematic, large-scale and all-purpose space medical experimental research system and achieved a series of innovative breakthroughs in space medicine,” Li added.
During the forum, experts exchanged ideas on the achievements made in space medicine research during the construction of China’s space station and discussed cutting-edge theories, development trends and new technologies involving space medicine.
The forum demonstrated the application of advanced in-orbit health maintenance technology in the operation of the space station and the future manned lunar landing mission.
The event was hosted by the China Astronaut Research and Training Center, the Beijing Institute of Technology and the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.