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Questions tagged [health]

Questions regarding effects on health by activities, prolonged stay, or exposure to environmental elements in space, celestial bodies, or space stations. Predominantly questions pertaining to health of human inhabitants, or astronauts. Questions pertaining to health of other, non-human organisms should include additional tags for further categorization.

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Going to the Lunar gateway during the upcoming solar maximum! What will the radiation environment be like?

EarthSky.org's What will the sun do next? says: On December 6, 2018, the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) reported that two of its scientists have made a prediction for the ...
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How are airborne particulates monitored on the ISS? Are they distinguished at all by size and/or type?

The question What kinds of activities, experiment and, procedures done on the ISS must be done in chambers vented to space? links to and quotes from this answer to the 3D Printing SE question How is ...
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What kinds of activities, experiment and, procedures done on the ISS must be done in chambers vented to space?

This answer to the question in 3D Printing SE How is 3D printing done in space? says The first big space-specific issue is actually air quality. You can't just open a window to air out the molten-...
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Will people living in Mars for several years be able to return to Earth without consequences?

Living without gravity has consequences for the bones and muscles. To counter that astronauts have to do exercise and lifting regularly when they go to the ISS. Now are there any plans to counter ...
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Artificial Gravity - How much is needed per day?

Has any research been conducted or is anything known about how much time must be spent in 1G per 24 hours in order to preserve good health? Assume that this refers to an extended space-journey. The ...
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108 views

What psychiatric and psychological tests do people need to pass to become astronauts?

I am writing a short film about an astronaut during re-entry to earth. Part of the conflict I wrote is that the astronaut could not pass the mental tests required. Could anyone tell me any tests ...
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92 views

What exactly makes it difficult for astronauts to walk immediately after landing after extended stays in space?

Photos and videos of astronauts returning from the ISS being taken out of their capsule show them being mostly lifted out by hand and lowered into chairs, where they rest for a little while, then they ...
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64 views

Is microgravity “known to” increase bacteria's tendency to acquire foreign genetic material and become metal & antibiotic-resistant?

The RT article Mutant superbugs menace future space station expeditions – NASA ends with: Microgravity is known to increase a bacterium's tendency to acquire foreign genetic material and to become ...
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252 views

What immunizations (vaccines) are required for astronauts?

Astronauts are often required to get immunizations (incorrectly called vaccines). Which ones are required?
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269 views

Did Charlie Duke actually get the measles?

Deke Slayton: Jim, we've got a problem. I got some blood work back from the lab. Charlie Duke has the measles. Jim Lovell: [Unconcerned] So we need a new back-up. Deke Slayton: You'...
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1answer
141 views

Do astronauts have to use sunscreen?

Of course the space suits can block most part of the radiation, but do the astronauts need to use sunscreen to protect their faces from the radiation passing thought the helmet or passing through the ...
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169 views

How does this ISS vision-testing instrument work? What exactly is being measured, and how?

This tweet by Surrey Satellite engineer Enguerran Petitfils says Astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor Examines Her Eyes via NASA https://ift.tt/2NmEt6k What is this device exactly, how does it work,...
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331 views

Is telerobotic surgery logistically feasible in orbit?

A recent comment said telerobotic surgery might be used in space, a follow up comment said that multiple minute light delays would complicate it. But I wonder if just the fact that being in orbit, ...
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Do Astronauts have their appendix removed?

A recenct article on the BBC news got me wondering about Astronauts in the ISS. technically they are fewer miles from the closest hospital, but the transportation is bit more complex. Imagine that ...
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221 views

What psychological issues do astronauts experience during spaceflight that are caused by spaceflight?

What psychological problems or issues do astronauts experience during spaceflight, that are caused by microgravity, background "white noise" or other unusual environments that astronauts in space are ...
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131 views

High velocity particle impact on humans in outer space

The Earth is constantly bombarded by matter from space. Is there any risk of high velocity dust particle/micro-object (cosmic garbage e.g.) impact on astronauts while in outer space? What chance is ...
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326 views

Is Seasonal Affective Disorder a concern for Mars colonists?

We're all discussing effects of Martian sunlight exposure on structures, plants, solar panels, but I don't think I've seen any discussion of its effect on humans. There's a number of effects of ...
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85 views

High elbow carrying angle and becoming an astronaut

Would having a high carrying angle (cubitus valgus) disqualify a person from becoming an astronaut?
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111 views

How soon can beginning of visual impairment due to intracranial pressure be observed?

The spaceflight-induced visual impairment was a serious problem for astronauts remaining for a long time in microgravity. In the early periods after discovery of the condition, the obvious symptoms - ...
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What is the mass and power consumption of the COLBERT treadmill?

What do you think is the mass and power consumption of the COLBERT treadmill? Sources are greatly appreciated.
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1answer
285 views

Have astronauts gotten sick on EVA?

In lots of science fiction, people have EVA suits which automatically preform First Aid or administer temporary medical help (such as painkiller injections) so that they can get themselves to a safe, ...
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What are the physical requirements of an astronaut for a Mars mission likely to be?

I realize that there's a lot of speculation involved here, but current actual mission profiles have PT programs and general wellness specifications. It seems like the qualifications would be a ...
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1answer
405 views

Did the Apollo astronauts suffer any health effects from inhaling lunar regolith?

Lunar regolith is nasty stuff - essentially tiny obsidian shards, and the Apollo astronauts had nothing like decent decon on the LEM. Did they have health problems that arose from that? Obviously, ...
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What does “masquerading zero gravity” mean?

From the book Packing for Mars: An entire odd universe of mock outer space has grown up here on earth. Capsules that never blast off; hospital wards where healthy people spend months on their ...
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How can astronauts on ISS deal with dental emergency?

Tooth ache is one of the more stupid and annoying disruptions to one's week. Dental hygiene can reduce the risk a lot, but only goes so far - for example, inflammation of roots of the tooth, with pus ...
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2answers
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Has NASA ever tested the effects of martial training to alleviate spaceflight osteopenia?

Martial artists who do thing like Muay Thai, kickboxing, and many others strengthen their bones by hitting them in various ways. Generally by kicking a hard object like a tree, by vigorously rolling ...
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Will we all be in voluntary ketosis on Mars?

The EurekAlert! NASA mission tests ketogenic diet undersea, simulating life on Mars University of South Florida researcher will be in nutritional ketosis during NEEMO 22 mission packs a lot of ...
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1answer
103 views

Does body building help mitigate microgravity health effects? Is it used?

Do astronauts beef up their muscle mass before a mission on the ISS? Does it give a buffer of muscle mass they can lose? They don't look like strongmen, although NASA doesn't seem to discriminate size....
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174 views

Spinning in space to manage gas?

A recent comment pointed out you can't burp in zero-g, while we don't have anything here about it, a Google search seems to support the comment. If you spin your body, in theory you could overcome ...
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1answer
648 views

How is the space station's interior cleaned?

The ISS is a pretty messy place, as in the image here. I have a cable mess under my desk that quickly traps dust and takes some effort to be cleaned. The ISS is much worse. And it has been crewed ...
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4answers
22k views

How tall do you have to be to be an astronaut?

Currently I am 13 years old and the thought of space amazes me. I am 5 feet 7 inches tall. I researched how tall you had to be to be an astronaut. Sites agreed and disagreed, throwing out a bunch of ...
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2answers
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Why isn't diarrhea a problem on the ISS like it is on cruise ships?

Friends of mine who have taken cruises consistently mention the very careful measures that cruise ships take to prevent illness among passengers. Not infrequently, entire voyages are ruined because of ...
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187 views

Would pole dancing cure microgravity health issues?

It is often suggested that gravity should be simulated by rotating the entire habitat module of astronauts in microgravity. But wouldn't pole dancing be enough? The individual astronaut swinging ...
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55 views

Muscle loss in space

Since loss of muscle is such a big problem in extended space travel I wondered (and practicalty is a different issue) if astronauts could maintain muscle mass by donning oxygen masks and playing a ...
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What is the probability that a deep space crew is hit by a Solar proton storm?

The Sun's magnetic field now and then accelerates a gigantic amount of high velocity protons in different directions. Regardless of the types and causes, let's call it "proton storm" when it is ...
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How much does back-scattered ionizing radiation contribute to radiation totals on the Moon?

How much is the radiation dose from cosmic rays lowered if a view only sees the ground, and not the sky? Leave aside shielding, and just taking as a starting point that the sky is completely blocked, ...
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7answers
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What are the most serious injuries that astronauts have suffered while in orbit?

Among astronauts in orbit, what is the worst real injury recorded? Has anyone hit himself on the thumb with a hammer or something? Squeezed a finger in a closing door? Gotten poisoned by some leaking ...
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3answers
449 views

Is there a better way for astronauts to bathe?

On the ISS each astronaut gets a packaged wet towel every two days, two dry towels and two washcloths a week, and 3 small packets of moist napkins every two days with which to wash themselves. At the ...
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711 views

In what way is artificial gravity expected to avoid/reduce bone loss?

It's my perception that discussions of the use of artificial gravity for manned deep-space travel missions are primarily centered on avoiding bone loss. Am I right so far? Microgravity seems to be ...
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2answers
362 views

How would travel to Mars without artificial gravity affect a crew's initial experience in Mars gravity?

This answer and the linked YouTube video discuss some difficulties with the experience of artificial "gravity" generated by small rotating craft (like one that could be launched to Mars in the near ...
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1answer
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How might artificial gravity experiments be conducted to determine adaptation in mice?

Astronauts in microgravity for extended periods experience a number of maladaptations, including bone loss, muscle atrophy and muscle mass loss, redistribution of fluids, and reduction in immune ...
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287 views

Why did the Zond 5 tortoises lose body mass so quickly?

For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zond_5 It is now clear that when we are in space for a long time, our body loses some mass. The question I want to ask is, how much time is needed for a ...
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945 views

Sources of radiation on Mars

This question proposes building a satellite to deflect solar ionizing radiation from Mars. But there are two sources of radiation: the sun and 'everything else' (cosmic radiation). How much radiation ...
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2answers
366 views

Effects of microgravity on human body in a days time

Many websites tell me effects of microgravity on the human body over a period of months. However nothing about the immediate effects of it. Could it be because there isn't any? I once read that fluid ...
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Isometrics in zero gravity

Related question... Why don't astronauts do isometrics or timed static contractions against immovable objects (like fixed bars at different heights) to sustain muscle mass and bone density in zero, ...
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2answers
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Why do they have a Snellen eye chart on the ISS?

During a recent NASA broadcast, I noticed something in the background: It looks like a Snellen chart to me, but why would they have that on board? If that's not it, what is it then?
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Is loss of flexibility a concern with crew on the ISS?

Videos of people on the ISS make it clear how little they need to bend or stretch, and how their joints stay in their neutral position most of the time as they float around - elbows, knees and hips ...
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1answer
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Oxygen toxicity vs Apollo mission preparation

In the article on Apollo command module design, I read: The cabin atmosphere at launch was changed to 60% oxygen and 40% nitrogen at sea-level pressure: 14.7 psi (10.1 N/cm2). During ascent the ...
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1answer
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What are the “unpleasant effects” of having a cold in microgravity?

I went to Technik Museum Speyer's space exhibition, which presented an excellent overview of the Apollo missions in a series of posters. The poster describing the Apollo 7 mission (an Earth orbit test ...
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How many astronauts have had spiritual experiences while in space?

In the video Overview 5 astronauts talk about having powerful spiritual experiences in space, and their descriptions match enlightenment experiences. This strikes me as rather more important than you'...