Kinesiology professor Richard Hughson and his team are enroute to Houston's Johnson Space Center to greet their latest research subject, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, following his 5 month mission on the International Space Station.
Orbiting Earth for five months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Hadfield, 53, played a role in two experiments led by Hughson: VASCULAR and BP-Reg.
VASCULAR focuses on the carotid artery. As it loses elasticity with age, the vessel loses its ability to dissipate pressure from blood surging out of the heart. This strains delicate blood vessels in the brain.
The experiment studies the function of Hadfield’s carotid and other arteries before, during and after the mission, and relates this to blood samples collected in space.
BP-Reg seeks to discover more about why some astronauts are prone to fainting when they return.
CBC's The National film crew connected with Professor Hughson hours before Hadfield's landing to discuss the influence of space travel on the cardiovascular system. See Health and Space Travel (video).