Later this century astronauts will walk for the first time on Martian soil. Spanning millions of interplanetary miles, stretched over months and years, this marathon extraterrestrial expedition will pose significant challenges for astronauts and their support teams. On this voyage biological hazards will present one of the most formidable obstacles and will demand unique approaches to crew protection, healthcare and health maintenance.
In the 21st Century medicine and applied physiology will play key roles in protecting crews from the biological hazards of the space environment and in developing healthcare delivery systems for use in reduced gravity environments. In turn the study of the effects of microgravity on human physiology promises to yield new and unique insight into terrestrial disease process and will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic techniques and leading edge biotechnology