KBR GmbH was established in October 2000 to provide human spaceflight medical support services to the ESA Space Medicine Office (SMO) at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany. KBRGmbH specializes in biomedical engineering, space medicine, flight nurse, psychology, nutrition, radiation, medical informatics and technology, fitness and rehabilitation, physiotherapy, medical education maintenance, project/strategy/riskmanagement, medicalprojects, and consulting support services to aerospace, government and medical research customers.
Purpose of physiotherapy consultant services
The primary role of KBR GmbH Physiotherapist is to provide astronaut physiotherapy and rehabilitation support services to the ESA Space Medicine Office (SMO) at the European Astronaut Center (EAC) in Cologne, Germany on an as-needed basis. These consulting services include the regular treatment of the ESA Astronauts, the preparation and implementation of pre- and post-flight rehabilitation programs, and overall physiotherapy services to astronauts to optimize their physical capabilities in-flight and to maximize their recovery post-flight. Prolonged exposure to microgravity effects humans in a variety of ways, many of which can be deleterious to health. Normal ESA Astronaut duties require regular training to maintain fitness, which may also occasionally invoke injuries. The above situations can benefit from specialized, focused physiotherapy and rehabilitation services from a trained professional experienced in dealing with these unique situations. The importance of sustaining the health of ESA Astronauts is understood as protection and maintenance of valuable resources.
The service is implemented in close coordination with the SMO Flight Surgeon and Exercise Team as well as the ESA astronauts themselves to identify and improve their body movement and function, to promote their health and well-being, and assist the rehabilitation process post mission by developing and restoring body systems, in particular the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. The physiotherapist consultant devises and reviews treatment programs, compromising manual therapy, movement, therapeutic exercise and the application of technological equipment, e.g. ultrasound, in addition to providing advice on how to avoid injury.