Hot answers tagged

70

All of the crewmembers assigned to the sick crewmember's crew transport vehicle (which as of this writing means the Soyuz) would have to leave as well. Otherwise they would be left without a means of escape in the event of a station emergency. For a six person crew, with three crewmembers assigned to each Soyuz, three would have to leave. For the current ...


56

Eyes do strange things in microgravity (when you consider they're deformable bags of fluid, this isn't too surprising). This report outlines the changes that can be identified after just a short parabolic flight. Eye test charts provide a way to investigate this without requiring heavy equipment or specialists. This study appears to be an on-going project ...


52

By my count, the OP asks three questions. I'll anecdotally answer two of them ("Is it something that most or all astronauts are capable of doing, or are there just a few "designated drivers" in each crew?" and "Do astronauts phlebotomize each other during ground training for practice?"). I was the "backup" medical ...


38

NASA has been studying the effects of microgravity on astronauts' eyes for at least a few years. This article from Space.com from 2012 talks about some of the findings from that time. In a new study, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the eyes and brains of 27 astronauts who spent an average of 108 days in space aboard NASA's ...


35

NASA, ESA, and RSA follow very conservative policies towards sending a potentially infected person into space. All the blood tests and other screenings in the days, weeks, and months leading up to a launch would make it virtually impossible for an astronaut to carry a communicable disease up to the ISS without showing symptoms or being detected as an ...


33

The test kit is there in case a female crewmember suspects that she might be pregnant. Your second question will never be answered because of US medical privacy laws. For the 3rd question, I have not found a documented answer, but I suspect a medical evacuation would be in order, due to the unknown developmental effects on the unborn child. This would ...


25

Apollo 12, Alan Bean. The capsule hit a rising wave, and the impact force knocked a camera out of a bracket, which hit Bean in the head and briefly knocked him out. He suffered a mild concussion and needed six stitches, but had no permanent injury.


23

Based on saturation diving operations, it looks like the limits are as follows: Compressed air: Nitrogen narcosis limits you to around four times Earth's atmospheric pressure. Any gas mix: Hydreliox was used for the current depth record; insomnia and fatigue issues appear to limit you to around 65 times Earth's pressure regardless of gas mix. Neither Titan ...


23

Boris Volynov broken several teeth during hard landing of the Soyuz-5 mission.


22

Would a higher air pressure on the ISS or elsewhere make it easier to “swim” in microgravity? Yes! But what's really important is the density, so instead of pressuring "normal air" you can just make a denser atmospheric mixture and keep the pressure the same. This answer says If you want the air to be 5 times easier to swim, you can just replace ...


18

The US's only "modern, real" space suit, the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), was designed in the 1970s. It has a very limited sensor suite and no automation at all. The only sensors used in the suit are A biomedical harness (with electrocardiograph electrodes) A carbon dioxide (CO2) partial pressure sensor A total pressure sensor ventilation flow ...


17

American cosmonaut Donald Pettit injured his shoulder when the Soyuz TMA-1 had to fall back to a ballistic reentry following a capsule malfunction. The hard landing was further complicated by the parachute dragging the capsule along the ground after landing. Pettit was immediately moved from the landing site by a rescue helicopter.


14

Yes, astronauts do use their legs. In weightlessness, any movement you make (even tiny things like pressing a button) will push you in the opposite direction. At many workstations, footholds are provided. The astronauts use the footholds to hold themselves in place, so they can use both hands for the work they're doing instead of continually needing one ...


14

Partial answer to "Is it a proposal space agencies should consider?" Unlikely. Increasing the differential pressure by a factor of 5 would mean that the modules would have to be quite a bit stronger and therefore presumably costlier and/or heavier. (As pointed out in this other answer) If getting marooned in midair is a constant problem (AFAIK it ...


14

The female South Korean astronaut Yi So-yeon may have been injured in Soyuz TMA-11 on April 19, 2008. Yi So-yeon was hospitalized after her return to South Korea due to injuries caused by the rough return voyage in the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft. The South Korean Science Ministry stated that the astronaut had a minor injury to her neck muscles and had bruised ...


13

Vacuum on the skin will not normally cause blood to flow through the skin. It can cause the skin to distend (push outward) from the fluid pressure behind it, and to stretch the capillaries under the skin. Actual vacuum exposures have shown that even 20-30 minutes of exposure do not result in external bleeding - but they do result in massive bruising. Joseph ...


13

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) was helpful on Twitter (@csa_asc in English and @asc_csa in French language) and answered a couple of my questions. This is in response to a general question in the title: Me: How do astronauts battle loss in blood volume in microgravity? CSA: Astronauts typically combat the effects by wearing compression garments ...


13

Yes medicines are carried on all space flights. The astronauts will communicate with doctors in the ground station, and doctors will monitor the astronauts periodically. HEADACHE Mercury crews carried nothing for pain, Gemini missions carried Aspirin and injectable Demerol, and Apollo added Tylenol and Darvon BACKPAIN The astronauts are advised to stand ...


13

During the abort of Soyuz 7K-T No.39 launch, Vasily Lazarev was injured by very high g-loads ( up to 21.3 g, 15 g were expected) and was never able to fly to space again. It was April 5, 1975.


11

The Med.Ops section of the ISS User's Guide is apparently available online. It is generally split into the following sections Crew Health Procedures Routine Non-emergency procedures Emergency procedures I'm far from being a medic, or even para-medic so my take may be wrong. A quick gander at the sections on Nosebleeds, and Penetration of the Eye by a ...


11

Yes, shared by MichaelT in The Pod Bay just recently: 2015/16 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code V95.43: Spacecraft collision injuring occupant There are others that you can search for by keywords on ICD10Data.com, for example: 2015/16 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code X52: Prolonged stay in weightless environment 2015/16 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code T75.81XA: Effects of ...


11

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 combination of "vacuum" and radiation from the sun be enough to kill enough of the bacteria ...


11

Yes, it was performed during Gemini 5 and 7. Here's the report. ... Ground observation sites were provided on the Gates Ranch, 40 miles north of Laredo, Texas, and on the Woodleigh Ranch, 90 miles south of Carnarvon, Australia. At the Texas site, 12 squares of plowed, graded and raked soil 2000 by 2000 feet were arranged in a matrix of 4 squares deep and 3 ...


10

First, I want to get out of the way that the equivalence principle, which is well supported by experiment, contends that gravity and acceleration are one in the same: "pseudo"-gravity caused by acceleration is equivalent to "real" gravity. So, there is no physical difference between walking in a spacecraft accelerating at 9.81 m/s2 and walking on the surface ...


9

The maximum pressure for long term survival in an atmosphere of 79 % nitrogen and 21 % oxygen is limited by oxygen toxicity. The limit of the partial pressure of oxygen is about 0.5 bar, the maximum pressure therefore is about 2.5 bar. For only some hours the pressure may be 4 to 5 bar, but nitrogen narcosis might be a problem. For higher pressures the ...


9

In the early days of crewed space exploration, size and weight of crew was an issue. The original batch of Soviet cosmonauts selected were restricted to 1.75m height and 72kg mass, for example, and US astronauts to 1.80m and 82kg. As launchers got bigger and spacecraft got more complex (and roomier), these restrictions became less important because the ...


9

I am aware of one such scientific program that spun off something useful: the Salmonella vaccine research by Arizona State University. The virulence of the Salmonella bacteria was altered in microgravity environment, generally making it more aggressive. These changes in bacteria behavior helped identify new possibilities for vaccine development. The research ...


9

Surface tension! The short answer is you’re close with your first guess - by squeezing the bottle a drop forms at the tip that is stable due to surface tension, and then steering that drop into an open eye (usually with the help of a partner doing the actual instilling). This means the bottle tip itself never touches the eye if you’re doing it right, ...


8

Strictly speaking, the answer to your question is yes. As I have explained in answer to a related question (What animals, if any, have reproduced in space?), nematodes are able to experience a full reproduction cycle in space. Nematodes are considered pregnant at a point in this cycle, and their pregnancy does meet your definition: Egg and Sperm join, ...


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