US Air Force to Organize Space Medical Research Group

The US Air Force will launch a new military research working group focusing on defense space-linked medical research gaps.

The Clinical and Operational Space Medicine Innovation Consortium (COSMIC) will be established as a committee combining performance and health research capabilities through the expertise of participating organizations.

Work under the future COSMIC programs will be led by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Ohio-based 711th Human Performance Wing’s (HPW) Human Effectiveness Directorate.

“This is a win for all involved,” 711th HPW Senior Aerospace Medicine Physician and Researcher Dr. James McEachen said.

“COSMIC provides an important venue to respond to emerging space-linked medical research requirements while simultaneously promoting collaboration and innovation among our government, academic and industry partners.”

Once operational, COSMIC will partner with the Texas-based 59th Medical Wing (MDW), the US Air Force’s largest medical segment with six groups across San Antonio.

“COSMIC represents a significant milestone in our collective efforts to establish defense space medical research capabilities,” 59th MDW Emergency Physician Maj. Craig Nowadly explained.

“By combining the strengths of both organizations, COSMIC has access to research expertise across a continuum of both clinical medicine and human performance optimization.” 

Integrating Knowledge for US Space Defense Operations

McEachen added further benefits of the COSMIC initiative to the US Department of Defense’s understanding of human capabilities when personnel are deployed for missions in the space domain. 

“It is important for the [Department of Defense] to understand how human health and performance are impacted during military space operations and to develop capabilities to sustain human performance and mitigate health risks,” he said.

“By establishing this collaborative research working group, COSMIC aims to spearhead more efficient and effective processes for addressing top priority clinical care and human performance research needs for [Department of Defense] space medicine.”

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