NASA’s new high-tech vacuum sleeping bags for astronauts seek a solution to their vision problems as the space agency prepares for long-term missions to the moon and, later, to Mars.
(Photo: by NASA via Getty Images)
JEZERO CRATER, MARCH – FEBRUARY 18: In this image supplied by NASA, the first high-resolution color image to be returned by Hazard cameras (Hazcams) under NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover after landing in the area known as the Jezero crater on February 18, 2021 on the planet Mars. A key focus of Perseverance’s mission to Mars is astrobiology, including looking for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s past geology and climate, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and will be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.
NASA astronauts and vision problems
Although NASA has sent astronauts to the International Space Station or the ISS to stay there for a few months for years, the solution to their vision problems after they return to Earth remains to be seen.
According to the report of GenSide United Kingdom, the strange effect of staying in space for an extended period of time was first discovered in 2005.
Meanwhile, NASA astronaut John Philips returned to Earth with a significant decrease in his eyesight after staying in the ISS for six months. His vision went from 20/20 to 20/100 after his space mission.
After which, a few theories emerged from the incident.
However, the reason behind this was only revealed after research, led by a professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at the University of Miami, Noam Alperin, investigated it.
The study then found that the sight problem of staying in space after a few months is caused by a change in the chemistry of a person’s brain.
To be specific, research has found that cerebrospinal fluid in parts of astronauts’ brains increases, which in turn leads to significant vision loss.
The extra fluid in the brain specifically causes the permanent flattening of human eyeballs, resulting in vision problems or, worse yet, blindness.
NASA Astronaut Vacuum Sleeping Bags
That said, a group of scientists at the University of Texas or UT’s Southwestern Medical Center focused on studying the problem NASA astronauts face with their eyesight.
According to the report of Republic of the world, the US space agency has contacted UT to find a solution to the sight problem raging among their astronauts.
It comes as NASA is also eager to bring humans back to the Moon, and soon after, to the Red Planet.
The scientist’s study led them to develop a vacuum sleeping bag that could prevent flattening of the eyeballs of those who will stay in space for a few months.
Also read: The Chinese space program will use a powerful nuclear reactor for missions to Mars! 100 times more efficient than that of NASA
NASA Astronaut Sleeping Bags: How It Works
Essentially, NASA astronaut sleeping bags help prevent their bodily fluids from floating to their brains.
To do this, the researchers included a vacuum or suction function in the sleeping bag instead of gravity on Earth.
It should be noted that such vision problems on our home planet are impossible to occur because the fluids from our head descend into our body once we get up.
On the flip side, at least half a gallon of bodily fluids from people in space remain on their heads. The sleeping bag seeks to keep chemicals from messing up their heads.
Associated article: Terraform Mars with an artificial magnetic field? Experts say it’s possible thanks to the Martian moon Phobos, but how?
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Written by Teejay Boris
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