Motion & Space Sickness

Motion Sickness is defined as nausea caused by motion, especially by traveling in a vehicle. Symptoms include nausea/vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and headache,  which can incapacitate for long periods.
                Motion Sickness Countermeasures                 

Motion sickness is a significant problem across a wide range of operational environments in the Warfighter and Space programs.  A current NAMRU-D study is investigating the efficacy of a low-dose, fine-particulate intranasal scopolamine gel for treatment of motion sickness. This formulation exhibits negligible side effects, rapid bioavailability, and greater efficacy than traditional formulations, providing a DoD motion sickness countermeasure that is highly effective, safe, and easy to administer, improving mission effectiveness across a variety of operational environments.

                                         Motion Sickness as a Threat                                         
... to the Modern Military
  • Aviation, seaborne, and ground combat missions

  • Simulator and remote vehicle operation

  • Training (11.5% of aviation training attrition is due to motion sickness, at an

      annual cost of $2M)

  • The loss of even a single crew member will cease operations or

      cause a human-factor catastrophe

... to Naval Aviation Missions
  • As many as 38% of US Navy pilot students and 50% of Navy flight officer students experience motion sickness, with concomitant decreases in flight performance ratings

  • Motion sickness has been stated as the cause of attrition of 5% of student officers and 1% of pilot students (35 en 50 future aviators), at an annual cost of $500K

  • Between January 1, 2009, and January 1, 2014, there were 252 motion sickness-related Naval Aviation Safety Awareness Reports, or four report per month, with performance affected in 44% of missions with reported motion sickness

  • Aviation Safety Reports indicate that performance is markedly degraded for the duration of a flight following experiencing motion sickness

... to Seaborne Combat Missions
  • Early era evaluation reported as many as 60% of crews are affected4, with other studies reporting a 70-100% incidence

  • Up to 90% occurrence in naval personnel (depending on the motion of the ship), affecting motivation and performance on cognitive and motor tasks

  • 80% of personnel have difficulty working while seasick

  • British Navy reports indicate a loss of 1 work day of every 10 days while conducting operations in rough waters

... to Ground Combat Missions
  • 74% of Marines reported moderate to severe MS in Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicles while working at computer workstations

  • 55% of soldiers experienced MS symptoms that were not mitigated by short stops9

  • The Delta Battery, a measure of soldier performance, found that 46% had performance decrements in five of seven performance subsets, 85% had decrements in at least three subsets, and 92% had decrements in at least two subsets11

  • Performance degradation was equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .08% in 35% of soldiers during movement and in 22% during short halts

An operationally relevant motion sickness countermeasure  would
not only ensure delivery of fully capable warfighters, 
but would sustain their performance in extreme operational environments.
NASA & Space Motion Sickness
  • Space Motion Sickness (SMS) is a condition experienced by space travelers as the vestibular system adapts to weightlessness.

  • SMS is characterized by stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, cold sweats, salivation, loss of appetite, fatigue, lack of motivation, irritability, impaired concentration, headache, and/or dizziness.

  • Begins in first 20-60 minutes

  • Lasts 30-72 hours

  • NASA has pursued and fielded scopolamine-based motion sickness solutions for decades and now strongly supports introducing an intra-nasal compound.