14 July 2016

Astronauts developing visual impairment

Before-and-after images of an astronaut’s eyes via spectral domain optical coherence tomography show choroidal folds (marked by arrows), which are similar to stretch marks. (Courtesy North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society)
From an interesting story in the Washington Post:
During Phillips’s post-flight physical, NASA found that his vision had gone from 20/20 to 20/100 in six months. 

Rigorous testing followed. Phillips got MRIs, retinal scans, neurological tests and a spinal tap. The tests showed that not only had his vision changed, but his eyes had changed as well.

The backs of his eyes had gotten flatter, pushing his retinas forward. He had choroidal folds, which are like stretch marks. His optic nerves were inflamed.

Phillips’s case became the first widely recognized one of a mysterious syndrome that affects 80 percent of astronauts on long- ­duration missions in space. The syndrome could interfere with plans for future crewed space missions, including any trips to Mars.

Visual impairment intracranial pressure syndrome (VIIP) is named for the leading theory to explain it. On Earth, gravity pulls bodily fluids down toward the feet. That doesn’t happen in space, and it is thought that extra fluid in the skull increases pressure on the brain and the back of the eye.VIIP has now been recognized as a widespread problem, and there has been a struggle to understand its cause — and even to study it.
More at the link.


  1. I've maintained for years now that long-term space exposure will require rotating sections for pseudo-gravity. It looks like there's not going to be a way around it.


  2. Ive long maintained that Earth is our precious habitat ideally suited to nurturing human life and that we would be better off spending these vast amounts of money on safeguarding our home first.

  3. If you canceled the manned space program, you wouldn't have "vast amounts" of money to keep spending on other programs.

    As an example, the Total US Budget for 2016 is about $3,950,000 Million dollars. NASA's budget is $18,500 M dollars. The total amount spent on manned space (including the Space Station stuff, where this was discovered) is $4,004 M.

    So if you shut down all the current manned space flight operations, you would save 0.1% of the Federal budget (1 part in 1000). That would keep operating the government (assuming it runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year) for about 10 hours, or less than half a day. Let's call it February 4th, from 8 am until 6 pm. Not very long...

    Now, you could save 0.5% of the Federal budget if you shut down ALL of NASA ($18,500 M) -- not just the manned space stuff. That would be 1 part in 200 of what the government spends each year. That would keep the government running about 2 days out of a year. (Say February 4th and February 5th, just to pick a couple of days)

    Note if you did that, you also would shut down all the science and research NASA does, including things like weather satellites, astronomy work, satellite communications systems and stuff like that. That's not helping "safeguard" the Earth, I don't think.

  4. The apollo space program cost 150 billion in todays money. That money would have been better off spent on education & health care. America would be a radically different place today, instead of black ghettos, mass shootings and the highest prison population on the planet.
    July 17, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    1. Rather than going back in time to cancel the Apollo program. We can get Donald to make it mandatory for all adults to carry a visible sidearm in public, this will save an estimated 2% of the federal budget in areas such as law enforcement, education, healthcare and welfare by shrinking the population. This measure would also reduce size and population of ghettos (black, white and whatever). The prison population would also be reduced and because of this, America would have to get all their military clothing manufactured in China. Thereby boosting the Chinese economy and forcing further militaristic expansion in the Spratley "Islands".

    2. I disagree, I think its pretty clear with the cancellation of the Apollo program suddenly in the early 70's in spite of great successes suggests that we are already in a universe where time travel is occuring. I propose that the timelines are constantly in flux already and forces from the future are already doing their best to alter their history with such things. We are living in a time line where perhaps an earlier coup attempt on the apollo mission failed and was then later re-established by the cancellation of it at a later point in time

    3. I've long maintained that the sudden cancellation of the Apollo program in the 1970's was the result of successful experiments with Tachyon based time independent communication by elements within the US government. However in this case, it is completely illogical to think that the trillions that must have been spent on Tachyon research in the alternate time line would be a fair trade off against the 150 billion that my friend strawbal e identifies as being spent on the Apollo program.
      Messages from the alternate time line clearly are being used to blackmail elements of the Republican Party to support (or at least not openly condemn) Trump at this time in order to ensure his election which should ultimately lead to the collapse of the Military dictatorship in Fiji and the re-assertion of the re-united united states which includes all nations between Alaska and Venezuela, thus re-uniting the two timelines.

    4. This conversation has gotten completely off the track.
      The recent softening of relations between the US and Cuba, coupled with the support of Turkish minorities in Colombia and Venezuela for the uprising against Edrogan in Turkey indicate that the actions required to bring the timelines into realignment have already occurred (over a decade ago). The geometrical similarities between Italy and Mexico are being enhanced year by year as the oceans rise due to the current warming trend. It is so clear that there is no further point in this topic of discussion. The choroidal folds suffered by Phillips is most likely a result of low gravity, but the suggestion that rotating a spacecraft (or a section of a spacecraft) to generate "artificial" gravity using centripetal force is unlikely to be successful at reducing this risk of choroidal folds because the fundamental force of gravity can only be mimicked by centripetal force. Some fundamental biophysical requirements met by gravity will not be able to be completely reproduced using centripetal forces.

  5. Agreed ... and the studies currently being analysed by physicists at FERMI are quite likely to make this distinction between real gravity (as expressed in Quantum Gravity) and simple continuous direction changes (as being swung around on the end of a rope). I expect that the analysis of the bumps will provide the requisite distraction in research directions for the required time and our work here will be done.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...