NASA Initiates Study on Physiological Effects of High-Performance Flights

NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center has initiated a series of in-flight tests that aims to identify the physiological effects of high-performance aircraft flights on the human body.

The NASA Engineering and Safety Center at Langley Research Center will monitor the breathing of five NASA pilots operating different airplanes and equipment in various flight conditions, the agency said Wednesday.

Armstrong will provide its F-18A/B and F-15D planes for the research program, which aims to examine the effects of high-performance flights on the aircraft as well.

Clinton Cragg, principal engineer at NESC, said during a recent congressional testimony that only a few studies have assessed the impact of high-performance flights on humans.

He noted that previous studies were not able to record certain variables such as the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in a pilot’s mask, the pressure within the cockpit and the pilot’s breathing rates, all of which could be used to complete the current research.

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