NASA’s new sleeping bags could prevent eyeball ‘squashing’ on the ISS

Becoming an cosmonaut necessary perfect 20/20 seeing, but unfortunately, the effects of space can cause cosmonauts to return to Earth with degraded eyesight. Now, researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a sleeping bag that that could avoid or reduce those problems by effectively sucking fluid out of astronauts’ heads.

More than half of NASA astronauts that came to the International Space Station( ISS) for more than six months have developed vision troubles to differing measures. In one case, astronaut John Philips returned from a six month stint about the ISS in 2005 with his seeing increased from 20/20 to 20/100, as the BBC reported.

For multi-year trip-ups to Mars, for example, this could become an issue. “It would be a disaster if cosmonauts had such severe impairments that they couldn’t verify what they’re do and it compromised members of the mission, ” lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Levine told the BBC.

Optical Disc Edema SANSUT Southwestern/ NASA

Fluids tend to accumulate in the manager when you sleep, but on Earth, seriousnes draws them back down into the body when you get up. In the low-spirited gravity of seat, though, more than a half gallon of liquid collects in the psyche. That in turn applies stres to the eyeball, generating flattening that can lead to vision impairment — a ailment called spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome, or SANS.( Dr. Levine detected SANS by flying cancer patients aboard zero-G parabolic flights. They still had ports in their tops to receive chemotherapy, which applied investigates an access point to measure pressing within their brains .)

To combat SANS, researchers collaborated with outdoor gear manufacturer REI to develop a sleeping bag that fits around the waist, enclosing the lower body. A vacuum cleaner-like suction device is then initiated that chooses fluid toward the feet, preventing it from compiling in the chief.

Around a dozen parties volunteered to test the technology, and the results tested positive. Some questions need to be answered before NASA draws the technology aboard the ISS, including the optimal extent of term astronauts should devote in the sleeping bag each day. They likewise need to determine if every astronaut should use one, or exactly those at risk of developing SANS.

Still, Dr. Levine is hopeful that SANS will no longer be an issue by the time NASA is ready to go to Mars. “This is perhaps one of the most mission-critical medical issues that has been discovered in the last decade for the gap platform, ” he said in a statement.

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