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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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3 votes
1 answer
187 views

Do ISS crew have the opportunity to take daily naps if they'd like to?

Could "days" on the space Station be made shorter to accomodate sleep patterns? raises an interesting point. I've often heard that for some astronauts they never really were able to sleep as ...
2 votes
2 answers
271 views

What kinds of activities experiment and procedures done on the ISS must be done in nominal-pressure chambers that need to be 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-ABS ...
17 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is there still a legless phantom crew member on ISS?

The Phantom Torso was designed to gather data on ISS crew Radiation exposure. What was its fate?
8 votes
2 answers
825 views

How do astronauts get eye drops into their eyes?

This answer mentions that some astronauts use eye drops to relieve irritation caused by dust and lint in the air. How do they do get the drops in their eyes in microgravity? When I put drops in my ...
5 votes
3 answers
975 views

Is disabling glare common in space?

I'd like to know if astronauts have been under the effect of Disabling Glare, how easily this could accidentally happen and how long can last if this happen?
6 votes
2 answers
392 views

How much gravity do Humans need?

My question is how much gravity do Human Beings need to be reasonably healthy long-term? I am aware that the current answer to this question is "We don't know", but I wish to know if we have ...
20 votes
3 answers
9k views

Does lower gravity on Mars make it unsafe and unhealthy for humans?

I've been thinking about proposals to live on Mars. One idea is to create an artificial magnetic field to protect from solar radiation. Another idea is to warm the planet using solar mirrors. In the ...
30 votes
3 answers
7k views

Were any of the Apollo astronauts smokers and did that cause any problems?

Onboard the Apollo capsule, the astronauts probably weren’t allowed to smoke because of the risk. Apollo 1 blew up because of a small spark in a pure oxygen environment. Even though NASA changed the ...
17 votes
5 answers
3k views

Besides health benefits, what are the advantages of including inertial gravity sections on spaceships?

Obviously, the benefits of building ring sections on spacecraft are pretty large when you factor in the detrimental effects prolonged stays in zero gravity environments (not accounting for radiation ...
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

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 cabin ...
3 votes
1 answer
252 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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
202 views

Is MOXIE's oxygen ready to breathe or is there CO2 and/or CO that would need to be scrubbed?

MOXIE splits two molecules of martian carbon dioxide into two molecules of carbon monoxide and one molecule of oxygen. Breathing elevated levels of CO2 ranges from unpleasant (to say the least and ...
19 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
38 votes
4 answers
9k views

Would a broken arm/ leg be more painful in zero gravity?

Would a broken arm/leg be more painful in zero gravity? I know it would be painful no matter what, but would zero-gravity make it less painful because the bone wouldn't move as much due to lack of ...
35 votes
2 answers
16k views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
201 views

High elbow carrying angle and becoming an astronaut

Would having a high carrying angle (cubitus valgus) disqualify a person from becoming an astronaut?
3 votes
1 answer
155 views

Space astro/cosmo-naut rejection due to fine veins

Related to the question, Are all modern astronauts at least passable phlebotomists? Some people have clearly defined veins which allow for easy insertion of needles or cannulas, however, some people ...
5 votes
1 answer
113 views

Thrombosis risk before launch

I am currently following the live broadcast of today's SpaceX launch. For a few hours already, astronauts are sitting inside the vessel, barely able to move. I wonder what precautions are taken to ...
6 votes
1 answer
247 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
221 views

Did astronauts and cosmonauts headed to the Mir space station go into quarantine before launch?

Humans headed to the ISS go into quarantine for 2 weeks before launch, and if they have medical problems during that time the backup crew takes over. Was this procedure also applied when going to the ...
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does space flight have any positive effects on the human body?

It is well known that there are a number of negative health issues (loss of bone density, muscle mass, (eyesight degeneration1, etc.) that can impair astronauts who spend long periods of time in space....
14 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
18 votes
2 answers
7k views

Are all modern astronauts at least passable phlebotomists?

phlebotomists are (nearly always) highly skilled people who safely and relatively painlessly poke our veins with big needles, take blood samples, then ask us to "press here". The process is ...
11 votes
1 answer
198 views

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 ...
7 votes
4 answers
919 views

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, ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

How are the "lucky JPL peanuts" shared post-pandemic?

The extremely cool NASA JPL video Triumph at Saturn (Part I) is really worth a watch and/or listen. (Don't forget Part II as well!) A bit after 36:59 it discusses ...
11 votes
2 answers
1k 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, ...
5 votes
3 answers
387 views

What animals would be best suited as pets or comfort animals for extended periods of spaceflight in microgravity?

Various scenarios that put more or less every folks in space for extended periods of time in microgravity in the future have been proposed, mostly based on space tourism but there could be ...
35 votes
4 answers
61k 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 (1.7 m) tall. I researched how tall you had to be to be an astronaut. Sites agreed and disagreed, throwing out a ...
7 votes
1 answer
252 views

Is 1/6 G enough for humans to stay healthy?

Micro-G is known to be detrimental to health in the long-term. However, the Moon is at $\frac{1}{6}$ G (while Mars is at ~$\frac{3}{8}$ G). Is $\frac{1}{6}$ G enough for humans to remain healthy in ...
4 votes
1 answer
228 views

Does extended microgravity increase the rate of kidney stones in astronauts? Do these lead to medical complains/discomfort while still in space?

This answer to What are the main impacts on the body of an astronaut exposed to long term zero gravity? mentions that the increase in bone loss due to extended periods of time in microgravity can not ...
11 votes
2 answers
622 views

Is there any research or recommendations for a diet in microgravity?

The Dietary Reference Intake (aka RDA) is formulated for humans operating at one Earth gravity. Is there a similar reference or any research supporting specific recommendations for a human in ...
2 votes
1 answer
180 views

First space phlebotomy? When was the first human veinous blood sample taken in space?

phlebotomists are (nearly always) highly skilled people who safely and relatively painlessly poke our veins with big needles, take blood samples, then ask us to "press here". The process is ...
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

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'...
7 votes
1 answer
310 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
158 views

Do ISS crews have to worry about the ionosphere? Have hazards to EVAs or surface arcing/functional anomalies happened due to ionospheric charing?

Comments below this answer tell us that the International Space Station always remained in Earth's atmosphere. It orbits in the thermosphere and simultaneously the ionosphere. This answer to How do ...
0 votes
1 answer
360 views

What are the main impacts on the body of an astronaut exposed to long term zero gravity?

Zero gravity has considerable influence on the body of astronauts. After a long time in space it's difficult to walk when back on Earth. What would happen if future astronauts engage in spaceflights ...
6 votes
1 answer
375 views

Can you have a relaxing full body massage in zero G?

This question is a bit more complex then it sounds at first. On Earth when getting a massage you lay on a table and gravity and friction holds you in place while the therapist pushes, pulls and ...
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

How will SpaceX's Starship accommodate its 100 passengers from the effects of micro-gravity?

According to this Wikipedia article, Starship will take on average 115 days (3.8 months) to get to Mars and 150 days maximum (4.9 months). with an average trip time to Mars of approximately 115 ...
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Martian dust getting into habitats

Martian dust could cause lung disease including cancer. Space suits and boots would become contaminated and bring the dust into the habitats. How would human missions to Mars mitigate this issue?
5 votes
1 answer
469 views

Is the new RGB solid state LED lighting on the ISS ever used to produce colors other than white?

This answer to Why are these astronauts green? explains the new (now about 2 years old) solid state (LED) lighting modules being added to ISS interior lighting, replacing the fluorescent lights (see ...
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do modern "space windows" protect from dangerous UV? Is it simply the type of glass, or are there coatings or filters also?

Answer(s) to Did Valentin Lebedev or any another Salut cosmonaut actually get suntanned for fun and/or for science? explain that at least a few Salut cosmonauts "experimented" with getting ...
5 votes
1 answer
249 views

Did Valentin Lebedev or any another Salut cosmonaut actually get suntanned for fun and/or for science?

A comment below Did Salyuts have windows? links to Soviet Space Stations as Analogs, Second Edition (Doc. ID 19870012563, Contractor Report) which contains: ...the various aspects of the Soviet ...
2 votes
1 answer
151 views

Is radiation on Mars line-of-sight? [duplicate]

Roughly a year ago, there was a TV show about colonizing Mars; National Geographic channel I think. The habitats were underground to avoid the Sun's radiation. So I'm wondering: does the radiation ...
21 votes
3 answers
4k views

How hard is it on the crew to go through the 14+ g's of a launchpad abort of the Soyuz, or the Falcon system?

It's only for 5 seconds, but that is an awful lot of force. The Falcon system is similar and presumably also involves very high-g forces. Could injury result from the abort itself in either case?
2 votes
1 answer
134 views

Did NASA ethylene scrubbers "blast out submicron particles" which attack viruses and bacteria?

In this open letter addressed to the US president, Joseph Urso, CEO of ActivePure Technologies, Dallas, Texas Why Aren’t We Talking About Destroying COVID in Indoor Air? An Open Letter on How to Open ...
7 votes
2 answers
405 views

Are there active proposals for the next large space station (post-ISS) to use artificial gravity?

The ISS has supported a crewed presence in space for twenty years now and while parts have been added over time, key original components are 20+ years old. Crewed presence is usually limited to a half-...
5 votes
1 answer
145 views

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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
532 views

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

It is well-known that when we are in space for a long time, our bodies lose some mass. My question is how much time would be needed for a person to lose 10% of their body mass? The tortoise inside ...
3 votes
0 answers
164 views

Is the radiation exposure in a spacecraft window seat significantly different than other areas of the cabin?

Does an astronaut seated next to a window get more exposure to harmful radiation (and if so, which types of radiation) than an astronaut somewhere else in the cabin at the same time? Related: Is ...