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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18
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6answers
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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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1answer
132 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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
6
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1answer
130 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 ...
4
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1answer
115 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 ...
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1answer
162 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
4
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1answer
231 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, ...
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1answer
110 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 ...
4
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1answer
82 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 ...
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1answer
185 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? ...
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1answer
159 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 ...
5
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0answers
157 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
256 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 ...
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0answers
158 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. ...
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1answer
667 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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. ...
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1answer
341 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 ...
5
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1answer
498 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 ...
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1answer
441 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 ...
6
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1answer
141 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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2answers
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 ...
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1answer
110 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 ...
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0answers
665 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 ...
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2answers
757 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 ...
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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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1answer
2k 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, ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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?
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
8
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1answer
533 views

What do female astronauts do on their menstrual cycle?

I know that there is medication to prevent the menstrual cycle, but what side-effects does this entail? Does regularly supressing the menstrual cycle pose any health risks to female astronauts? ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
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Why is there a pregnancy test kit on the ISS?

A comment by Organic Marble on the question Is it possible to get pregnant through natural means in space? includes a link to PREGNANCY TEST (ISS MED/3A - ALL/FIN) which seems to indicate there is a ...
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What is the impact of micro-G environment and magnetic field in LEO on blood flow and brain function?

How are sleeping and cognition in microgravity, with rapid changes in magnetic field, different from the normal human life on Earth?
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2answers
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Won't an astronaut exposed to the vacuum of space bleed from everywhere?

A woman kiss can cause the blood raise to the top levels of skin, leaving you violet mark on skin. However articles about space exposure (wikipedia, nasa.gov) do not talk about bleeding at all... So ...
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1answer
317 views

Pathogenic microorganisms and antibiotics in space

An experiment launched with the Cygnus 'craft brought my attention to another difference between Earth and space environments: human infections may become more lethal, more virulent, and less prone to ...
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1answer
3k views

How do astronauts battle loss in blood volume in microgravity?

Past manned space missions teach us that the loss in gravity gradient has an adverse effect on the blood volume of astronauts. Our bodies are simply built to expect pressure gradient and in gravity, ...
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1answer
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How well would a broken bone heal in zero gravity?

We know that being in space has negative effects on bones. If you had a broken bone is space would it heal ok? Has there ever been a broken bone healed in space? Other then Spaceflight osteopenia ...
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0answers
159 views

How does increased environmental radiation affect medication potency, long and short term?

The issue of the effects of radiation on medication potency is not only important for long term stays in the ISS, but also very important for longer duration journeys and even for colonization. One ...
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3answers
2k views

What medicines have come from the Space Program?

There are any quantity of spin-offs from the Space Program. Developments by the erstwhile Soviet Space Program, and others are probably not well known, or easy to locate online. Yet NASA, and it's ...
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1answer
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Have any astronauts ever abused drugs in space?

I know from a few previous questions that some pretty strong drugs are available aboard different spacecraft and the ISS. Have any officials ever determined, on record, that drugs have been abused? ...
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1answer
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What procedures are there to perform emergency surgery on the space station or space shuttle?

There are many dangers involved in space exploration, as we all know, there are always chances that an astronaut would be seriously injured or fall ill. This would be especially true for continued ...
7
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1answer
121 views

Have traditional forms of exercise such as Yoga been studied in orbit?

A follow-up to What is the exercise regimen under the SPRINT program? The Sprint program is briefly described as Integrated Resistance and Aerobic Training Now this may just be dogma on my part ...
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1answer
243 views

What is the exercise regimen under the SPRINT program?

NASA says (emphasis mine) Current exercise countermeasures on the International Space Station (ISS) are insufficient to prevent muscle atrophy, cardiovascular deconditioning and bone loss ...
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1answer
3k views

How is the ISS equipped to deal with the outbreak of a contagion?

Suppose one of the astronauts was a carrier for a disease that did not show up in the medical testing prior to flying up to the ISS. How would the outbreak of this contagion be dealt with?
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Do astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) actually use their legs?

The European Space Agency writes to say ◾The applicant must have the normal range of motion and functionality in all joints. Historically, IMHO, astronauts came from a flight/test-pilot background....