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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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21 votes
3 answers
25k views

Puncturing space suit during EVA. What would happen?

What would happen, if the space suit of a spacewalking crew was punctured during the extravehicular activity (EVA)? What are the chances of this happening? Has this already happened to anyone in the ...
Jom's user avatar
  • 351
17 votes
4 answers
3k views

Radiation shielding magnetic or mass, which is more efficient?

As I understand it; being away from earth subjects you to significant health risks from radiation. On Earth most of this risk is deflected by Earth's magnetic field. I did not find a reference but ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
16k views

What are the consequences if an astronaut's helmet gets damaged during a spacewalk?

Note: This has become a frequently asked question. Some related situations which have been regarded as duplicates of this question include these: Leaving vehicle / going outside without spacesuit or ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
786 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
11 votes
1 answer
4k views

What kind of time regiment/schedule do ISS astronauts have?

On Earth people's lives are usually dictated by a 24-hour rhythm (with about 8 hours of sleep each night). As far as I know this rhythm is determined by chemical processes in the human body which are ...
martinkunev's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Mitigating nausea when generating artificial gravity by centrifuge

When utilizing "artificial gravity" generated through a rotating structure using centripetal force, i.e. a centrifuge, is there a minimum diameter or some other attribute that causes or helps ...
agent provocateur's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
470 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
595 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 ...
user avatar
39 votes
7 answers
11k views

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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
942 views

Does long-term residence on the ISS affect eyesight?

Life on a space station is very confined. For months on end, astronauts are kept in a structure that's about the size of a football field on the outside and much smaller on the inside. The nearest ...
bastik's user avatar
  • 1,237
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do the majority of astronauts experience space sickness while adapting to micro-gravitational conditions?

Do the majority of astronauts (and cosmonauts) experience nausea, or symptoms of space sickness while adapting to micro-gravitational conditions? How severe are their symptoms and how much they vary ...
user avatar
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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 ...
Mac Vibrant's user avatar
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 ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
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 ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 301
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
16 votes
3 answers
5k views

Would wearing heavy clothing be enough to solve the health effects of reduced gravity on other planets?

One of the most often cited drawbacks to settlement of other planets and satellites is the negative health effects of reduced gravity. Among the most severe of these is loss of bone density, reduced ...
Gwen's user avatar
  • 2,917
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

How long were the Apollo astronauts allowed to breathe 100% oxygen at 1 atmosphere continuously?

This answer explains that from the time they suited up "in the Suit Lab before launch" until the time the capsule started depressurizing during ascent, the Apollo astronauts were breathing 100% oxygen ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
11 votes
3 answers
725 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 ...
kim holder's user avatar
  • 21.4k
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 ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it possible to prevent muscular atrophy in microgravity with proper exercises?

Is it possible to prevent muscular atrophy in microgravity (space station, spacecraft etc.) by proper exercises? Urban dwellers here on Earth can train/develop arm muscles to the equivalent of their ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why would the Apollo Lunar Module pressure dump (to space?) valve have a bacterial filter?

This answer to Why did they bother closing the hatch on the LM while doing EVA? links to a transcript of Apollo 11 which contains the following (find it there by searching for "radiative"): 109:41:...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does the ISS medical inventory include a sun-tan/sunscreen lotion/cream?

Wikipedia writes to say Exposures on the ISS average 150 mSv per year, although frequent crew rotations minimize individual risk I assume here the crew aboard the space-station receive more ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 13.6k
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 ...
Kengineer's user avatar
  • 1,748
6 votes
1 answer
236 views

Aspects of "true deep space environment" on Gateway not thoroughly explored by decades of habitation of nine space stations already?

The ABC News article President Trump prompts state of confusion over space policy with tweet covers POTUS' tweet and NASA director Bridenstine's clarification tweet a few hours later, as well as cites ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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 ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
546 views

Has a source of vitamin C ever been successfully grown in space?

Growing one's own food has long been a goal of space exploration. It has the potential to reduce the amount of mass needed for long-term missions. Food has been experimentally grown and eaten on the ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
5 votes
1 answer
236 views

What makes Space Adaptation Syndrome worse?

Are there any particular movements or activities that exacerbate SAS, space sickness?
Bob516's user avatar
  • 6,999
4 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
584 views

When during the flights did astronauts use the Valsalva device?

A spongy material is installed to the inside helmets called the Valsalva device (top right in this image) allow astronauts to do the Valsalva maneuver to relieve pressure on their eardrums when there ...
Bob516's user avatar
  • 6,999
2 votes
1 answer
314 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,...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
205 views

How will space suit computers likely be radiation hardened?

Writing this comment inspired the following question: Space suits are critical to life, so if there's a solar storm and the astronaut has received a less-than-lethal dose of radiation, they'll be ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
1 answer
156 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
3 answers
229 views

Prior to putting spacecraft on a trajectory going a significant fraction of the speed of light, would some things need to be tested on Earth?

Except for particle accelerators, I don't think we have made any macro object go anywhere near the speeds planned for spacecraft like the one planned in Project Orion. But would there be something ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 337
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 ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
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....
coleopterist's user avatar
  • 6,063
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?
sno's user avatar
  • 531
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Has anyone had sex in space?

Has anyone admitted to having sex in space? What policies/protocols are there in place for this kind of activity?
dwjohnston's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
5k views

Healing of bruises and internal bleeding in 0g

I heard an unsourced claim about wounds, bruises and internal bleeding healing much worse in 0g conditions than in normal gravity. Is it true? And if so - could you provide a quantitative comparison, ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55.1k
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do space suits measure "methane" levels or other biological gases?

A comment below Was “I have the farts, again” broadcast from the Moon to the whole world? links to this humorous video clip of the 1997 comedy movie RocketMan about astronauts on Mars. Personnel on ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55.1k
11 votes
1 answer
231 views

What psychological therapy is available to space travelers

Is there an 'on-call' person dedicated for psychological therapy of people traveling in space? Flights are getting longer and longer, and while isolation has been studied for space and certainly ...
Mikey's user avatar
  • 2,941
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, ...
Chris B. Behrens's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
516 views

Has dependent one-carbon metabolic pathway been successfully linked to ocular health of astronauts?

NASA is pretty active in investigating deteriorated vision issues of astronauts that, I guess, are most frequently linked to the loss of intracranial blood pressure due to microgravity with their ...
TildalWave's user avatar
  • 76.1k
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
1 answer
702 views

How often do astronauts suffer headaches, migraines, etc. in microgravity?

This is a follow-up on a few similar questions of mine regarding effects of the loss of intracranial pressure gradient of astronauts that work in microgravity for extended periods of time, and how ...
TildalWave's user avatar
  • 76.1k
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 ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55.1k
8 votes
2 answers
826 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 ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k