With this project, brain MRI scans are acquired in astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA) and in cosmonauts from the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos). MRI scans are acquired before, shortly after, and 6-7 months after a mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Different types of MRI are included per scan, rendering anatomical information of the brain, microstructural information and nerve fiber orientation, as well as brain activity during task performance and during rest. These complementary types of MRI scans allow us to study brain structural and functional changes to the brain in space crew after a mission to the ISS and whether these changes sustain for a longer time period or whether they normalize to the condition from before the mission.


  • Projcet proposal: written in 2009
  • Study implementation and preparation: 2009-2013
  • Start of data acquisition: 2014
  • Data acquisition and analyses: 2014 - present


  • Towards understanding the effect of spaceflight on the brain. (2020)

  • Macro-and microstructural changes in cosmonouts' brains after long-duration spaceflight. (2020)

  • Reply to Ludwig et al.: A potential mechanism for intracranial cerebrospinal fluid accumulation during long-duration spaceflight. (2019)

  • Reply to Wostyn et al.: Investigating the spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome and the human brain in lockstep. (2019)

  • Alterations of Functional Brain Connectivity After Long-Duration Spaceflight as Revealed by fMRI. (2019)

  • Brain ventricular volume changes induced by long-duration spaceflight (2019)

  • Brain Tissue-Volume Changes in Cosmonauts. (2018)

  • Spaceflight-induced neuroplasticity in humans as measured by MRI: what do we know so far? (2017)

  • Cortical reorganisation in an astrounaut's brain after long-duration spaceflight. (2016)