MILLIGAN, Tenn. (Oct. 9, 2023) — As humanity seeks to uncover the mysteries of space, scientists and astronauts must understand and prepare for the physiological toll of spaceflight.
Milligan University Associate Professor of Exercise Science Dr. Kirk English will address this topic during Milligan’s Faculty Lecture Series on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.
His lecture titled “Protecting Skeletal Muscle and Performance during Spaceflight: to the Moon and Mars” will be held in the university’s Hyder Auditorium in the Science Building and is free and open to the public.
English previously served as an exercise physiologist and senior scientist at NASA Johnson Space Center for 13 years. At NASA, he conducted research to develop and evaluate countermeasures to the damaging effects of spaceflight on human physiology.
“The zero-gravity environment of spaceflight causes many undesirable physiologic alterations in astronauts,” says English. “To combat these negative changes, astronauts perform exercise during their missions.”
English’s lecture will detail decades of research focused on advancing our understanding of the body’s responses to spaceflight and how to better protect human function and performance in space. His talk will address the latest research and best practices for future missions to the Moon and Mars.
“For the last 25 years, human spaceflight has been largely confined to the International Space Station (ISS), positioned in low Earth orbit,” says English. “Over the next several years, missions will return crews to the Moon and, in the next few decades, put the first humans on Mars. The physical demand of terrestrial exploration will be significantly greater than the demand of ISS missions.”
The Faculty Lecture Series provides students and other members of the Milligan community a glimpse into the active world of academic research and writing at Milligan.