Feeds

Mars trips could blind astronauts

Lack of gravity is the main culprit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.