Feeds

Mars trips could blind astronauts

Lack of gravity is the main culprit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.