AIAA Deep Space panel on the Hill

Kris was a panelist for a July 2012 event on Capitol Hill titled, "Deep Space: Relaunching American Exceptionalism."  For more, see AIAA's summary article.

The United States must continue to explore space, yet lawmakers, policy experts and the general public must understand that there are substantial technical and medical barriers to further exploration initiatives which must be overcome before expanded exploration is possible. That was the message from AIAA’s “Deep Space: Relaunching American Exceptionalism” panel on July 24 at the Rayburn House Office Building. [...]

[Dr. Lehnhardt] gave a thorough review of how the life sciences are crucial to furthering exploration of space. He pointed out that two of the biggest challenges to furthering human exploration of space are the effects of radiation and the effects of micro-gravity on the human body.

Kris interviewed for "Extreme Medicine and the New Normal" in the AAMC Reporter

In April 2014, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) interviewed Kirs about extreme environmental medicine and aerospace medicine.  Read the entire article here.

From deep space to the inner workings of the cell, scientists have overcome skepticism, even ridicule, in pushing medicine to its extreme.
While space flight has not yet crossed the threshold from extreme to routine, that day may soon arrive. Virgin Galactic already has received deposits from approximately 700 people who wish to become astronauts—more than the total number who have been in space to date. And these people likely are not as fit, physically or emotionally, as professional astronauts.

“We tell our students to think about the challenges of having humans spending not only long periods of time in space but traveling long distances in space,” said Kris Lehnhardt, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

For a physician en route to Mars, it could take 20 minutes to get a voice message to Earth. And even basic supplies such as IV fluids are scarce in space. Until scientists find solutions—such as recycled bodily fluids—spaceships so far have the capacity to carry enough IV fluid for just one or two days.

Explorers historically have overcome challenges of extreme travel, expanding our vision of what is possible. Lehnhardt noted that when the Wright brothers flew their first aircraft, widespread sentiment was that planes might be useful as mail carriers, but not much else. Today, he said, visionaries see humans populating the moon and beaming solar power to earth, describing what he called “just a few of the grandiose ideas of what space flight may hold for the future.”
— AAMC Reporter

ISU Space Café presentation: Are We Really Ready for Mars?

In 2012 Kris presented at an ISU Space Café in DC on the topic, "Are We Really Ready for Mars?".

“If we could build the spaceship tomorrow, could we go to Mars?” Dr. Kris Lehnhardt, asked his audience at the March International Space University (ISU) Space Café in Washington, DC. Lehnhardt, an expert in emergency and aerospace medicine at George Washington University, ticked off the challenges of sending humans on a long-duration, long-distance space flight: bone loss, kidney stones, muscle loss, orthostatic intolerance (e.g., similar to standing up too fast and blacking out), neurovestibular instability (e.g., motion sickness and dizziness), psychological factors (e.g., depression, anxiety), and, most challenging of all, radiation.

Lehnhardt readily explained each challenge, engaging with the crowd in a thoughtful discussion about each, but the topic of radiation kept coming up.

Kris interviewed in The Star (2013)

A trained flight surgeon, [Kris Lehnhardt] hopes to enter space and study the effects of gravity on the human body.

’Almost everything in your body works differently up there,’ he told the Star in a telephone interview from Washington, DC, where he’s teaching and practicing emergency medicine. [...]

’It’s an entirely new area we can pursue and try to get into space.’
— The Star, "Next Canadian astronauts may take commercial route into space"