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Since 2008, Cardiolab has been keeping a check on the health of European astronauts on board the International Space Station.

Cardiolab is a French-German contribution to the European Columbus science laboratory berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2008. Part of the European Physiology Module (EPM), it is dedicated to studying the human cardiovascular system and how it responds to microgravity conditions. Both flexible and upgradable, Cardiolab is a suite of sensors and devices for stationary or ambulatory monitoring of physiological parameters and for applying stimuli to subjects.

The data collected by Cardiolab are used in space medicine to conceive solutions designed to counteract the effects of microgravity on astronauts’ cardiovascular system. Cardiolab is also advancing understanding of human physiology, notably of cardiovascular disorders like blackouts common in older people. Space research is the only way to mimic extreme long-term lack of physical activity to test the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

CNES developed the main processor for Cardiomed to which the instruments and two sensors are connected. The agency is also responsible, through the CADMOS centre for the development of microgravity applications and space operations based in Toulouse, for operating all of the systems making up the EPM.