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Questions tagged [medical]

Questions regarding medical aspects of space exploration, like effects of missions on human body during launch, flight and reentry.

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What is Earth's apparent magnitude from geosynchronous orbit?

How bright is a "full Earth" from geosynchronous altitude (22,200 mi) and would it be dangerous to look at a full Earth for too long from that distance without wearing a dimmed visor?
Hannes's user avatar
  • 189
3 votes
1 answer
154 views

Has intra-cranial pressure been measured on ISS astronauts for SANS research?

Visual impairment (VI) <and spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS)> is currently ... NASA's top health risk for long duration spaceflight, and millions of dollars has been allocated ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k
2 votes
0 answers
135 views

What would happen to a human in ordinary winter clothes who is tied to the Falcon 9 first stage during its ascent? [closed]

If there was an average-health-human tied to the Falcon 9's first stage during an ascent of the rocket into space, what would happen to them over the course of the flight in case they wore ordinary ...
Nullnummer's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
106 views

What limits are put on mission profiles by maximum tolerated G-force?

NASA standards https://standards.nasa.gov/documents/viewdoc/3315785/3315785 includes this graph of maximum allowable G-force and duration: With some creative license, this curve could be extrapolated ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k
4 votes
1 answer
84 views

Are there any considerations to build up would-be colonial newborns' immune systems when space outposts are designed to be as sterile as possible?

Following the Hygiene hypothesis, newborns in sterile environments would develop a weaker immune system and be more likely to develop allergies. To some extent the immune system can be made to be ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does NASA police urine production by astronauts?

Acute abdominal pain is a medical emergency which requires diagnostic facilities not available on board spacecraft. It could require emergency return from LEO or mission abort in cislunar missions. ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 22.1k
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 ...
Fred's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
178 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
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
4 votes
2 answers
252 views

Accomodations for blood transfusion

Are there accomodations for blood transfusion (could/may be rare cases) on crewed space missions? That is, facilities for storing blood bottles for transfusion matching the blood group of astronauts. ...
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
148 views

COTS portable X-ray machines in crewed spaceflight; would they work without significant modification?

Are commercial, off-the shelf (COTS) portable X ray machines likely to work in manned spacecraft, or are there technical reasons why they would need to be significantly modified? Do you feel is it ...
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
226 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
2 votes
1 answer
165 views

Has an astronaut had a blood sample taken while in space?

Has any astronaut had a sample of their blood taken while in space? This may be as part of a scientific experiment, or for their own health. If yes, was the sample analyzed while in space, or was it ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
9 votes
3 answers
581 views

What would happen to an astronaut on the surface of Mars if a Carrington-event-like superflare hit the red planet?

If a coronal mass ejection with the intensity of the Carrington event1 or more hit Mars, what would happen to an astronaut on its surface who is too far from their base to return to in time? Assuming ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 633
21 votes
5 answers
4k views

Which astronauts or cosmonauts were injured by a hard landing?

Sigmund Jähn, the first German in orbit, was injured during a hard landing of the Soyuz 29 capsule on September 3rd, 1978. He got permanent damages of his vertebral column. Are there other astronauts ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49k
4 votes
0 answers
127 views

On which celestial bodies could you use the Apollo moon suits too?

If you wore the Apollo lunar suit on celestial bodies other than the Moon, on which bodies would you survive (until oxygen run out)? You obviously couldn't wear them on any (recognized) planet because ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 448
17 votes
6 answers
4k views

Would a higher air pressure on the ISS or elsewhere make it easier to "swim" in microgravity?

What if the atmospheric pressure onboard the ISS was 5 atm, 5 times the pressure on Earth and currently on the ISS, while maintaining the breathable oxygen level, e.g. if the additional atmosphere ...
LoveForChrist's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
126 views

What is it like for ISS astronauts to re-adjust to the Earth's gravity?

ISS expeditions last up to half a year, as long as a flight to or from Mars would last. Here I answered to a question dealing with the adaptation of Martian visitors from microgravity to Martian 0.38 ...
LoveForChrist's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
268 views

How, specifically, are ISS audio comm loops "privatized"? For example, in private medical conferences?

The paper International Space Station Medical Operations mentions Private medical conferences (PMCs) are conducted regularly and upon crew request with the ISS crew via private audio and video ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
169 views

Are there any plans for an astronaut's two-year stay on the ISS? If no, why not?

A manned Mars mission would last about two Earth years. However no astronaut was continuously in outer space for that long, the record are Valery Polyakov's 437 days on Mir. If SpaceX wants to send ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
92 views

How much gravity could someone handle who lived his/her entire life in microgravity? [closed]

Let's say someone who was conceived and born in microgravity and spent his/her entire life on a space station in weightlessness until age 20 decides to land on a celestial body. How much surface ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
640 views

What effects would the longer days on Mars have on humans?

Afaik, humans never tried to live according to shorter or longer days so the Martian astronauts might be the first humans from Earth that have to follow a different cycle. The Martian day (Sol) is ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
483 views

What effects did the different air pressure and air composition in certain spacecraft have on astronauts?

The Mercury and Gemini spacecraft, and in space the Apollo spacecraft, didn't pressurize their cockpits to 1 atm with Earth-like atmospheric composition; instead, they used pure oxygen at much lower ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
250 views

How low would gravity have to be for the balance system to fail?

This is a very critical question that is necessary to get answered for flights to distant celestial bodies. The inner ear liquid makes you perceive which way you're pulled onto a celestial body. This ...
user avatar
49 votes
1 answer
11k views

Would all crew leave the ISS if one had a medical emergency?

If someone on the ISS had a medical emergency that required them to immediately return to earth (such as a severe stroke - something where they could not give them ideal care on the ISS and required ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 621
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is retired astronaut Scott Kelly now the same height as his brother?

In WIRED's new video Astrophysicist Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty | WIRED "Astrophysicist Janna Levin, PhD, is asked to explain the concept of gravity to 5 different people; a child, ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
206 views

What biomedical data indicated Apollo astronauts were sleeping?

What particular biomedical data did NASA use to determine if an Apollo astronaut was awake or asleep? From the APOLLO 11 MISSION COMMENTARY, page 72/1 "Our Flight Surgeon reported a short while ago ...
Bob516's user avatar
  • 6,939
4 votes
1 answer
189 views

Space adaptation syndrome compared to BPPV (vertigo)

Has there ever been any discussion comparing the typical SAS experience and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (when tiny calcium particles clump up in canals of the inner ear). Having recently ...
Bob516's user avatar
  • 6,939
8 votes
1 answer
289 views

Was this Gemini "giant eye chart" ever performed?

This article from the May 14, 1965 issue of the Manned Spacecraft Center Roundup describes an "eye chart" experiment on an upcoming Gemini flight. Did this experiment end up happening in any manner? ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
5 votes
1 answer
812 views

Has an IV even been performed or attempted in space?

As many of you likely know, IV's are an important part of modern medicine. As more and more people go into space for longer periods, I would imagine it may become necessary for an IV to be ...
Gigaboggie's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
468 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
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
8 votes
2 answers
823 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
12 votes
2 answers
341 views

Is the vestibular system ever useful in spaceflight?

The Vintage Space video Eleven Deaf Men Helped NASA Leave Earth describes a number of different NASA experiments done on human subjects who had damaged vestibular systems due to childhood illness. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did astronaut candidates have a lung capacity test, as portrayed in the movie The Right Stuff?

One memorable scene in the movie The Right Stuff portrays a lung capacity test. The astronaut candidates blow into a tube with water and a ping-pong ball. They must blow just hard enough to keep the ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can there be color blind astronauts?

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. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
1 answer
907 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 ...
John F101's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

How fast do they spin astronauts these days? Maximum routine g-training for astronauts in the 21st century?

Comments got me thinking about NASA's 20 g centrifuge. Gemini astronauts pushed to 7 or perhaps 8 g's as discussed in this answer but these days with nicely throttleable engines astronauts going to ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
1 answer
977 views

Can centrifugal force actually overcome the health problems of microgravity?

Microgravity has a negative health effect which exercises cannot completely remedy. Rotation of spacecraft and the resulting centrifugal force have been suggested as a source of pseudo-gravity. But ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
213 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 - ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can the vacuum of space be used to sterilize equipment?

Supposing that washing dishes and sterilizing medical equipment could be expensive to do in space, would a viable option be to expose dishes, scalpels, silverwear etc to the vacuum of space? Would the ...
Premier Bromanov's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
167 views

Which medications do you bring to Mars?

In the Apollo missions, any conditions that wouldn't kill in a few days could be treated upon return. In current missions to the ISS, an emergency abort can have medically-threatened crew members back ...
TheEnvironmentalist's user avatar
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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
2 answers
975 views

What happens to a body, that has been exposed to vacuum, once brought back onboard?

You are on a ship in the cold vacuum of space. You find a body of an astronaut exposed to vacuum (for this instance just assume human, but you never know). The body was essentially freeze dried and ...
EveryBitHelps's user avatar
39 votes
2 answers
8k 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?
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the regulations governing (against) beards in space?

The ISS and currently used spacecraft have toxic stuff (ammonia, propellants) that makes donning gas masks a life-saver in emergency. Beards may interfere with the seal. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, ...
Deer Hunter's user avatar
  • 11.4k
7 votes
2 answers
6k views

Rabbits in Space

It seems that first rabbit was launched into space around 1959. There are differences in sources (Wikipedia, Korabl-Sputnik 2, does not mention rabbits) but it appears several rabbits have been ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are there ICD-10 codes for space?

Today (October 1, 2015) the diagnosis codes known as ICD-10 went live in the US. I was wondering if there are any that are specific to spacecraft, space stations, or hypo- or hyper-gravity?
James Jenkins's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

How important is the size of an astronaut?

It seems to me that weight and size would be important in choosing spacefarers for many reasons; I came across this Wikipedia article where the Chinese astronauts (taikonauts) have to be between 50 ...
Kilisi's user avatar
  • 243
23 votes
3 answers
20k views

Maximum survivable atmospheric pressure

Given a similar mix of gases to those in our Earth's atmosphere, what is the upper limit of survivable atmospheric pressure for a human? Could a human survive higher pressures with a gas mix unlike ...
Ezra Bailey's user avatar
  • 2,900