A lifelike computer-controlled dummy will be teaching astronauts, flight surgeons and other mission personnel how to manage medical emergencies in space.
The patient simulator is linked to a computer that controls its reactions and can be programmed to mimic various situations that could occur in space.
For a session on allergic reactions to medications, participants will face a wheezing simulator with a rapid pulse and swollen tongue. In some scenarios, the simulator will also be programmed to talk.
Data from the current pool of astronauts will be programmed into the computer including the physiological changes that occur in space as a mission progresses.
The aim is to recreate realistic space scenarios that look at how injury or illness can be treated with the equipment on board, and for how long.
"This patient simulator is no dummy," said Dr Hal Doerr, head of the Medical Operational Support Team at Nasa's Johnson Space Centre.
"It breathes, has a heartbeat, pupils that react to light and medications, a pulse that can be felt at five locations, and lung sounds.
"About 200 parameters can be changed, so we can create any type of patient and then simulate medical events that could happen."
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