Call for Papers
Special Issue on Space Medicine & Health Systems
Join us in exploring the rich potential for cross-discipline collaboration in this emerging field and allow us to showcase your work.

Submission deadline: June 1, 2024


Issue Editors:

Erik Antonsen, MD, PhD 
Baylor College of Medicine
[email protected]

N. Stuart Harris, MD, MFA
Massachusetts General Hospital
[email protected]

Jennifer Fogarty, PhD
Translational Institute for Space Health
[email protected]

Anil Menon, MD, MS
UT Health Houston
[email protected] 

The human spaceflight industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. After 70 years of government funded and operated spaceflight, the commercial industry has matured to the point where they are now launching private and commercial astronauts to space and are funded to build space stations. NASA is returning to the moon with the Artemis program. SpaceX is designing vehicles for Mars. With this transformation come new missions, new operating paradigms, and more diversity in the population flying than ever before. At the same time, the hazards of the spaceflight environment present new challenges to health, and new opportunities to learn and create. In this unique remote and austere environment, the vehicles, habitats, space suits, and systems that we design and deploy determine the likelihood of survival and the ability of astronauts to do the jobs they were sent to perform. The potential for lessons learned from terrestrial medicine to inform space medicine, and vice versa, is great.   

In view of these unique challenges, we are pleased to announce a special issue on Space Medicine & Health Systems. The Wilderness Medical Society and Wilderness & Environmental Medicine have long-standing experience working at the intersection of human health, ecology, and extreme environments. We are excited to highlight new and innovative perspectives and research at the convergence of human spaceflight and remote and austere medicine and systems including:

Space medicine
Space health systems and systems medicine
Risk assessment and management for remote environments
Physiologic changes in spaceflight
Radiation exposure and management
Impacts of isolated and confined environments
Food challenges and systems
Remote launch and landing support
Ecology and biosphere’s role in sustaining human health
Analog environments systems and technology testing
Lunar and Martian health systems planning

Potential topics for this special issue might include:
Papers examining the interactions of impacts of partial- and microgravity on human physiology and health
The behavioral and physiological impacts of extended time in small teams and close quarters
Examples of new approaches to mitigate the risk of decompression sickness as extravehicular activities in spaceflight change
Case reports of human tolerance to the challenges of the spaceflight environment in historically non-standard astronauts (young, old, differently abled, various chronic medical conditions, etc.)
What space travel can teach us about recognizing health as an ecological phenomenon. 
Best practice guidelines for remote launch and landing medical support
Historical reviews of environmental and toxicologic challenges in spaceflight
Needs analyses and goals for future space medicine education
Analysis and review of terrestrial health and performance benefits derived from space medicine investments
Guidelines and best practices for in-flight care of medical conditions (remote and/or in-person)

As with all work published in WEM, papers are expected to relate to aspects of the wilderness environment.  This may include impacts of the spaceflight environment or designed environments on spaceflight-related activities, astronaut health, or other austere environments, including those that may used for testing and evaluation of systems or human tolerances. Please see the WEM Guide for Authors for more information about the journal and submission guidelines. 

Submission deadline: June 1, 2024.

Please contact WEM managing editor Alicia Byrne ([email protected]) with questions. 

All submissions will undergo the same rigorous, single-blind peer review process as any other submitted manuscript to WEM. Final decisions regarding ultimate acceptance rest solely with the Editors. Authors should submit manuscripts through the journal’s online submission system with a statement in the cover letter that the submission is intended for the special issue on Space Medicine & Health Systems.