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This answer begins with:

It appears to have actually been a pole, not a cord.

Handrails and handholds, colored blue for quick identification, were located throughout Skylab.

Source

In computer graphics choosing good colormaps is a thing, and Project Seaborn (also here) addresses this issue in a way that is also more inclusive to people with various kinds of color blindness.

The crewed spaceflight experience can be punctuated by critical moments where one needs to be able to access and absorb a lot of disparate pieces of information quickly, and color-coding can be extremely useful.

Color coding is also useful in warnings and reminders, e.g. "don't touch this unless you mean to".

So I would like to ask:

  • Has color blindness been an excluding factor for astronauts in the past?

  • What about currently for crews bound for space stations?

  • What about passengers for space tourism?


There seems to be some unofficial, non-diagnostic tests (for those interested in learning about the topic) available at https://www.color-blindness.com/color-blindness-tests/

enter image description here

Source

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Yes, there has been at least one color blind astronaut. Astronaut pilots cannot be color blind, but some color blindness is permitted with mission specialists.

Roger Crouch is one such example, he flew on STS-83 and STS-94. There's a short article on it on NASA's web site.

I don't know what kind of color blindness he has, I suspect if you have red/green color blindness it's still a no go.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the data point; yes color blindness comes in a variety of "flavors". $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 5 at 23:20
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No. I can't find a NASA source, but I can find one from the Canadian Space Agency, whose astronauts have to ride on NASA missions and therefore would meet the same requirements. It specifically states "Applicants must not be colour blind"source.

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  • $\begingroup$ I do have a hunch that this could be the correct answer, but remember that half of the ISS is not NASA, and there are also other space stations and space agencies as well. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 5 at 12:13
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    $\begingroup$ There is no evidence that color blindness would be exclusionary for space tourism astronauts (third bullet in question). As long as they can pony up the cash. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble May 5 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ What a bummer! I have read that as many as 12% of peoole have red-green color-blindness. Sadly, +1. $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi May 5 at 16:34

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