What is this face, less clear and clearer
The pulse in the arm, less strong and stronger—
Given or lent? more distant than stars and nearer than the eye
An ophthalmologist studying astronauts in the International Space Station has found long-term structural changes in their eyes. Nimesh Patel, an assistant professor at the University of Houston, examined data taken from the optic nerve head, the circular area at the back of the eyeballs where the optic nerve is connected to …
If you read his book about his year in space, he mentions his eyes got bad enough after his first ISS tour that he started needing glasses. However, as far as he can tell, the year in space didn't seem to do any additional damage.
He also mentions that if it is fluid pressure, then the only way to directly measure the pressure is by doing a spinal tap, something they've avoided for the obvious reasons - not only the pain, but it's a very invasive procedure to do on-orbit.
I recently got my eyes tested for a Class 1 Aviation Medical. This is a very comprehensive (to say the least!) test which is tonnes more than looking at letters on a chart or what numbers you can see amongst the dots (which I got wrong and had to do a secondary Farnsworth Lantern test, however I digress).
The intra ocular pressure can be measured by some device which blasts air onto the surface of the eye, and I am presuming the instrument measures the deflection of the surface of the eye to deduce the pressure. Back in the day (not so long ago) an instrument used to have to physically touch the eye.
I get that intraocular pressure test every year. I'd had the 'puffer' thing the last 3-4 years, but last time he did the thing where they numb the eye and have that thing touch it. I asked him why, he said that's more accurate so he likes to use it every few years as a sanity check on the results. Luckily the pressure is right where it should be, so I can look forward to the puffer the next few years...
... but this isn't as trivial as it first seems. Stretching and shrinking the retina layers can lead to bigger problems than blurred vision - you don't want someone potentially months away from a surgical team suffering detachment, or worse, internal haemorrhaging due to tearing of the retina.
> some kind of artificial gravity will be a part of any long term space missions
Indeed, the list of problems due to lack of gravity keeps getting longer and longer.
As for the "how", I guess the easiest way will be the good old wheel like in "2001 A Space Odyssey". It will add some cost and technical problems, but I guess it's still better than letting your crew turn into a bunch of half-blind cripples by the time they arrive around Mars.
Hal isn't that big of a deal, just remember a few simple rules:
* He can lip-read, so pretend you're an NFL coach on the sidelines and cover your mouth when discussing something important.
* Never leave the ship without your helmet.
* Always let him think he is correct (or at least make sure he thinks you think he is correct)
I thought about it the other day and started counting how many different reasons disqualify me going up into the black. I get above seven different physical/medical reasons.
Even if free and easy transport were suddenly available, I'd have to stay and volunteer to neaten up and turn out the lights. Or... maybe like Pierson's Puppeteers we could just move the planet? All hail Larry Niven!
... and the bagpipes.
On Radio~2 the other week someone played the theme to 'Star Wars' on the bagpipes. At least, that's what they said the 'tune' was. Made me realise that no matter what is attempted, it all sounds the same, on bagpipes; terrible.
Puts me in mind of the aliens from the Gerry Anderson live-action series UFO, which had the aliens skin stained by the hue of a green oxygenated liquid which is believed to cushion\breath their lungs against the extreme acceleration of interstellar flight.
To protect their eyes the aliens wear opaque sclera contact lenses with small pinholes for vision. The show's opening sequence begins by showing the removal of one of these contact lenses from an obviously real eye .with a pair of forceps.
Doesn't explain the purple wigs worn by the female staff on Moonbase.
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