Feeds

Mars trips could blind astronauts

Lack of gravity is the main culprit

The next step in data security

A manned trip to Mars could end up blinding its astronauts suggests research by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The report says that long amounts of time spent in space damages astronauts' eyes.

It puts another obstacle in the way of manned Mars missions, which would be a three-year round trip requiring rocket power beyond what we can currently muster. Though NASA have put teams of their health scientists onto solving the problem, according to the LA Times.

The research published in the journal Opthalmology found that 60 per cent of astronauts on long-duration flights (six months) experienced decreased vision at short and long range, while the same problems affected 27 per cent of astronauts on short-term trips (two weeks). In some cases the problems persisted after many years back on earth, though in others they dissipated.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology examined seven astronauts in detail and questioned 300 more generally to compile the findings. The results were published last month and just flagged up again yesterday by the LA Times.

Even though blindness only happens in extreme cases, blurring of vision is a problem and NASA has shipped out dozens of pairs of glasses to the International Space station to combat the problem.

Reduced gravity has cited as the most likely cause of the eye trouble. It is known to cause short-term problems in the human body – known as Space Adaptation Syndrome – including spatial disorientation, nausea and vomiting. This is mainly caused by bodily fluids – especially spinal fluid – rising to the head and putting pressure on the brain and eyes. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.