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Space solutions for health

ESA today announced the launch of its 'Space Solutions' initiative, a business-to-business provider of know-how and technologies to industries in the wellness market. The launch was announced at an event featuring an address by ESA astronaut Andr Kuipers, live from the International Space Station.

Over the years, ESA has developed dozens of innovative technologies and methods to deal with the adverse effects of weightlessness and has applied the findings of space experiments to medicine, physiology, biology, chemistry, material sciences, physics and more. With the 'Space Solutions' initiative, ESA, supported by a network of partners, is positioning itself as a business-to-business provider of research opportunities, know-how and technologies for industries in the booming health and wellness markets.

"At ESA, we help our astronauts cope with the challenges of spaceflight. To do so, we have developed unique solutions that we wish to see transferred to products that improve people's quality of life," said Michel Tognini, former astronaut and now Head of the European Astronaut Corps. "By creating the 'ESA Space Solutions' initiative we seek to convince industrial partners that association with space research and development can add value to their products".

Surprising though it may seem, health and wellness are a core competency at ESA. The hostile environment of space poses a special challenge to the wellbeing of astronauts. Weightlessness, stress and increased exposure to radiation are just some of the factors whose effects researchers seek to combat.

Many of the effects of spaceflight, which include bone loss, muscle loss, a weakened immune system and sensory disorientation, closely mimic the way our body degrades as it ages or is kept inactive.

The combination of an increasingly older population and diseases associated with inactivity is causing one of the largest epidemics the world has ever witnessed. Several hundre
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Contact: Filippo Ongaro
filippo.ongaro@esa.int
49-2203-6001412
European Space Agency
27-Apr-2004


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