Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Pharmaceutical Solutions for Deep Space Travel and Colonization: Background, Challenges, and Possibilities

Version 1 : Received: 28 November 2020 / Approved: 30 November 2020 / Online: 30 November 2020 (12:00:49 CET)

How to cite: Jabara, J. Pharmaceutical Solutions for Deep Space Travel and Colonization: Background, Challenges, and Possibilities. Preprints 2020, 2020110724 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0724.v1). Jabara, J. Pharmaceutical Solutions for Deep Space Travel and Colonization: Background, Challenges, and Possibilities. Preprints 2020, 2020110724 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0724.v1).

Abstract

Manned missions to Mars and other deep space exploration targets are expected to take place in the next 20 years. These missions will involve prolonged crew exposure to the unique space environment, increasing the risk that astronauts will experience additional physical and psychological health conditions beyond those that would be expected through normal aging on Earth. Thus, there is an acute need to develop therapeutic solutions that can withstand the harsh space environment, while maintaining astronaut health and maximizing crew capabilities to foster successful exploration-class missions. This review covers the nuanced and interdisciplinary challenge that is providing safe and effective pharmaceuticals for future deep space missions. First, the limitations of current pharmaceutical solutions are discussed; the impacts of the space environment on human health and chemical compound stability are covered, along with an evaluation of astronaut medication use on similar missions. Second, potential pharmaceutical solutions and concepts are presented for consideration. Future research should prioritize these and other potential innovations to ensure that our space programs are well equipped to maximize crew safety as astronauts explore deep space objectives.

Subject Areas

astronaut health; space medicine; pharmaceutical stability; space pharmacy; radioprotection; Mars missions; space exploration and colonization.

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