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  NASA flight surgeon Sam L. Pool (1937-2013)

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Author Topic:   NASA flight surgeon Sam L. Pool (1937-2013)

Posts: 4204
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-25-2013 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Houston Chronicle:
Friends and family will greatly miss Dr. Sam Lee Pool, 75, of Nassau Bay, Texas, who passed away on Sunday, September 22, 2013. ...upon graduating from medical school, Sam served as a flight surgeon in the United States Navy... He was a pioneer in space medicine and remained with NASA until his retirement.
From NASA's History Office:
Sam Pool served as NASA's Assistant Director of Space Medicine in the Space and Life Sciences Directorate at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) during Phase 1. He and the flight surgeons were responsible for providing medical support to the astronauts and their families pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight, They were also in charge of training the crews in medical techniques necessary and potentially necessary on-orbit.

Pool has worked for NASA since the Apollo Program and helped to develop a set a of medical standards for spaceflight, which are used to medically screen astronauts. In his Oral History, Pool commented on how spaceflight affects the human body and why scientists study those effects:

"Flying in space, particularly in microgravity for long periods of time, is not very friendly to the human body. There are a lot of body functions which degrade. There's a fair amount of deconditioning that goes on, and the countermeasures, including exercise, which we have used over the years really haven't solved the problem. So we're still working that puzzle very hard to try to figure out how to do better.

"[The] cardiovascular system becomes less responsive, particularly on return to gravitational field. Bone mineral is lost. Neurophysiology is definitely affected. The Russians say - and I think they're quite correct - that returning cosmonauts from long missions can't play simple games that children play, because their coordination and so on is not up to it. That's certainly been proven true now that we've begun to fly with them and look at our people similarly."

Pool has also been involved in the development of the NASA/JSC biotechnology capability, a leading edge science that will benefit the International Space Station.


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