Special Issue "Response of Terrestrial Life to Space Conditions"


A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. David M. Klaus
Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA
Website: http://spot.colorado.edu/~klaus/
E-Mail: Klaus@colorado.edu
Phone: +1 303 492 3525
Fax: +1 303 492 8883
Interests: bioastronautics; human space flight; spacecraft life support systems; spacesuit technologies; gravitational biology; extracellular mass transport

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Life as we know it on Earth has evolved in the presence of terrestrial gravity while protected under an atmosphere and a magnetic field that both help to keep harmful radiation exposure at sufficiently low levels. These ubiquitous physical factors greatly influence the morphology and behavior of living systems ranging from the smallest microbes to plant life and up to humans. The force of gravity dictates the need for load-bearing structures and creates hydrostatic gradients in liquids that are contained within organisms. Similarly, orientation and locomotion on the surface, in water, or through air must also overcome the constant downward force exerted by Earth's gravitational attraction. All of these physical attributes are altered when an organism is exposed to conditions of spaceflight, where the orbital state of free fall results in a weightless environment. For small microbes, weightlessness alters biophysical interactions and affects cell population distribution in suspension cultures. Plants no longer need the same degree of structural provision to support their weight, nor do they have the ability to properly orient their roots and shoots upon initial emergence from seed. Humans suffer from bone and muscle disuse atrophy, as well as experience neurovestibular disorientation and a cephalic fluid shift that sets up a number of subsequent adaptive physiological responses. Research is aimed at better characterizing, perhaps even utilizing, these altered biological outcomes, and also at developing countermeasures in an attempt to counteract those effects that are exceedingly detrimental. Planetary surface exploration introduces various additional concerns. Furthermore, as humans venture beyond Low Earth Orbit and out past the Van Allen Belts, chronic exposure to galactic cosmic radiation increases and potentially lethal, acute solar events pose serious threats to life at all levels. The submission of scientific perspectives, comprehensive reviews or research articles on these and related topics is welcome for this special edition.

Prof. David M. Klaus
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • bioastronautics
  • gravitational biology
  • gravitropism
  • life in space
  • microgravity
  • radiation biology
  • space life sciences
  • space medicine
  • space physiology
  • spaceflight biomedical countermeasures
  • spaceflight biotechnology

Published Papers (4 papers)

Life 2014, 4(2), 117-130; doi:10.3390/life4020117
Received: 19 February 2014; in revised form: 25 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (128 KB) | Download XML Full-text

Life 2014, 4(1), 107-116; doi:10.3390/life4010107
Received: 14 January 2014; in revised form: 18 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (565 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text

Life 2014, 4(1), 66-76; doi:10.3390/life4010066
Received: 24 January 2014; in revised form: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (112 KB)

Life 2013, 3(4), 524-537; doi:10.3390/life3040524
Received: 7 November 2013; in revised form: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 13 December 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (226 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text

Last update: 31 December 2013

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