APL is a part of the Human-Systems Collaboratory at the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Laboratory funded by:

Open positions:

We are looking for motivated graduate students with interest in bioastronautics and countermeasure development. Hands-on skills and experience in hardware development is a plus as well as enthusiasm for human testing.

What We Do

Welcome to the Aerospace Physiology Lab (APL), a clinical physiology research lab in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at MIT. We are a team of physicians, scientists, and engineers interested in studying how stressful physical conditions such as those in microgravity environments or during exercise affect the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems of human beings. We also develop new and novel devices and therapies to combat the physical effects of these real-world problems. 


Dr. Lonnie Petersen is a leader in space physiology research. She is the Charles Stark Draper Chair and  Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is also core faculty at IMES  and the MIT Lead Scientist at TRISH.

APL is located in 31 and E25-238, where we develop and employ the newest technologies and techniques while seeking to train the next generation of scientific leaders in human physiology and medical devices.

APL is involved in a multitude of research fields such as NASA funded gravitational physiology projects, Department of Defense funded emergency medicine research, and COVID-19 related ventilator research as a member of Acute Ventilation Rapid Response Taskforce (AVERT).


Japanese visit

We were honored to host a delegation of our Japanese collaborators:

Professor Ogoh from Toyo Unversity and Ass. Professor Tsukamoto from Waseda University. 🇺🇸 🇯🇵


Ciarra Ortiz Representing APL at NSBE Conference

We are proud to have Ciarra represent the lab, AeroAstro and MIT at this important event 🚀


APL and Boston Med Flight

Aerial MEDEVAC and CASEVAC sits right at intersect of medicine and aeronautics - the field is growing and so are our collaborations and research projects. 


Congratulations to Lasse Bruun for a very successful MS defense!!!

Congratulations on the degree and on an extraordinary impactful thesis project advancing our capabilities in ground-based spaceflight analogues. 


Dr. Petersen meets with the Danish Ambassador, government dignitaries, and industry leaders

for a discussion about what makes the Kendall Square biotech ecosystem an outstanding example for how to elevate innovation and collaboration.


Showing off laser cutting skills!

The APL-logo has been made in hard-copy!


Left: Ground based simulation. Right: Panel installed in the crew quaters on ISS

Together with SAGA Space Architects we will be investigating the influence of circadian light on astronaut health, performance, and sleep. 

UPDATE: Circadian Light panels are now installed and operational on ISS. 

More information on the ESA mission: https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/A_good_night_s_sleep_in_orbit  


The APL would like to thank Prof. Floris Wuyts for several fantastic guest lectures this week on “Space Brain”.


"Lonnie will cure disease - using astronauts afloat" 

An interview (in Danish) with prof. Petersen by the Danish Broadcasting Company (DR)

Link here

Prof. Petersen explains how weightlessness affects the body (Danish).

An infographic by the Danish Broadcasting Company (DR) featuring the Danish astronaut.

Click the image or here for link.

Prof. Petersen to help SAGA architects with their underwater habitation project, UHAB.

The one-person pilot is to be tested in 2023, with a larger multiperson habitat and astronaut training facility planned for 2026.

Read more here

What happens to the body in space? Interview with Prof. Petersen.

In preperation for the Danish Huginn Mission to ISS, Dr. Petersen is interviewed by the Danish Broadcasting Company (DR3) on the consequences of going to space. Interview is in Danish.

The Huginn Mission Ambassador Corps

Prof. Petersen joined the Ambassador corps for the Huginn Mission (increment 69 and 70) with resposibilities for science dissemination before, during, and after launch. 

Arnold D. Tuttle Award - Dr. Petersen

by Aerospace Medical Association

Established in memory of Col. Arnold D. Tuttle, USAF, MC. Awarded annually for original research that has made the most significant contribution toward the solution of a challenging problem in aerospace medicine and was published in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance.

Presented to Dr. Petersen in 2020 for her paper "Mobile Lower Body Negative Pressure Suit as an Integrative Countermeasure for Spaceflight."