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Dental Health & Space Program

Up until this generation, space travel and colonization have been the stuff of science fiction. Now, in addition to the international space station being continuously occupied, plans are being developed for far more distant travel, including one-way travel to Mars!

If you think space travel might be right for you, you must pass rigorous physical, intellectual and psychological testing. One of the most important aspects will be your physical health, including your oral health.  Are you taking the steps now to ensure that your teeth will be healthy enough for space travel?  Where will YOU go?

Daily "Fit Teeth" Regimen

As a member of BASA, you need to follow the BASA astronautic oral health regimen. This is rigorous training, and requires a strict commitment on your part.  This includes:

Twice daily 120 second brushing regimen with a quality flouride toothpaste and soft toothbrush. Use our countdown clock to ensure you're not missing any time.

  • Top right quadrant: 30 seconds
  • Top left quadrant: 30 seconds
  • Bottom right: 30 seconds
  • Bottom left: 30 seconds
  • Rinse

Flossing regimen:  Between each tooth, each surface, three strokes.

Follow the prescribed nutritional guidelines below from BASA PreFlight.  Drink plenty of water, avoid too many sweets and soda.

PreFlight Oral Nutrition Protocol

Good nutrition isn't just good for a healthy body and mind. It's important for oral health.  As a BASA member, you can make a big difference in your oral health and future flight preparedness by making smart food choices now.

  • Are you eating crunchy fruits and vegetables at least twice daily?  Which did you have today? How about yesterday?
  • Are you drinking milk or water, rather than soda to replenish your fluids?
  • Are you eating at least some eggs, meat, fish or nuts daily to get the protein you need?

These are your food choices. When it's time to eat, think about that trip to Mars and whether your teeth will qualify when the time comes to suit up.

Living aboard the ISS

The International Space Station has been continuously occupied since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people from 15 countries have visited. Crew members spend about 35 hours each week conducting research in many disciplines to advance scientific knowledge in Earth, space, physical, and biological sciences for the benefit of people living on our home planet.

Learn more about the International Space Station here.


Design A Space Settlement

Did you know that NASA Ames Research Center conducts an annual Space Settlement Design contest for 6th to 12th grade students? Check it out!