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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
41
votes
2answers
7k views

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?
37
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
34
votes
4answers
54k 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 ...
32
votes
1answer
13k 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 ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

How do EVA suits manage water excretion?

This answer immediately sparked the question in my mind of how space suits manage water excretion from the person wearing them. I am aware that the astronauts had to wear diapers since one may need to ...
23
votes
1answer
5k views

Do Astronauts lose finger nails in space?

I recently heard that space suit gloves can cause Astronauts to lose their finger nails. We have an answer that includes a link to a 2010 article that says in extreme cases, detach from their ...
23
votes
1answer
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....
21
votes
3answers
3k 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?
21
votes
3answers
23k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
872 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
7k views

Was Valentina Tereshkova pregnant while in space?

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space. I have been reading the book called "The Astronaut Wives club". In it, they discuss women flying in space, and mention that Valentina was the first ...
19
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
2k 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'...
17
votes
1answer
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
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 ...
17
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
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?
16
votes
5answers
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
354 views

Are there any existing technologies, or research, that investigate the sustainable production of food for manned exploration trips?

With NASA planning to eventually get people to Mars, and with privately funded attempts such as Mars-One planning to do the same, and relatively soon, there is the issue of having to feed anyone you ...
16
votes
1answer
1k 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?
16
votes
1answer
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Would human "superpowers" in low gravity fade away through reduced muscle mass?

If suddenly put in a low gravity as on the Moon or on Mars, humans should feel very strong, easily breaking some olympic records for example. Apollo astronauts have said that they did not get tired ...
12
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
509 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
368 views

What psychological issues do astronauts experience during spaceflight, 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
461 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

What will happen to human body when affected by two opposing G forces?

(I am not quite sure whether I should be asking this question here or in Physics exchange or biology exchange, but i decided to place it here due to the context that this question came to my mind.) ...
11
votes
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
621 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
221 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
331 views

How are the symptoms of long-term exposure to microgravity similar to those of bedridden patients?

A large number of symptoms of long duration stays in microgravity seem to be associated with the headward shift of organs and blood. I've always wondered, couldn't these symptoms also happen in ...
11
votes
1answer
437 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
139 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
242 views

Have there been any studies on the health impacts of prolonged high G?

If you are flying to Mars or elsewhere, and you want to use a centrifuge to 'make 1G' to keep the passengers healthy, why not increase it (slowly) so they are actually at 2G's? Seems like this would ...
10
votes
1answer
603 views

What is the projected death-rate displacement for colonists to Mars?

Unlike Earth Mars does not have an atmosphere with oodles of Carbon Dioxide and water-vapour. lacks a planet-wide magnetic field Even alone these two factors make a significant difference to the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why might an astronaut wear their wristwatch very loosely aboard the ISS?

In this video of CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield aboard the ISS, he wears his watch very loosely--so that it continually bumps against different sides of his arm. I imagine this might be mildly ...
9
votes
2answers
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
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:...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
780 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'...
9
votes
1answer
636 views

How serious is a contagion in space flight?

Today I was playing Alien: Isolation and saw a poster regarding lice and how you ought to get checked to reduce the risk of spreading it. (I give you this context to let you know that I am generally ...
9
votes
1answer
716 views

What are the health risks facing humans on long-term space flights?

There are lots of engineering challenges associated with long-term space flight. Many of these are driven by the humans on board the vehicles -- specifically the mitigations required to control ...
9
votes
0answers
754 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 ...