Humans are going to Mars, and they are going to need some medical support in order to survive the trip, at least according to a panel held last week at a conference in Washington DC. The discussion, at the Humans to Mars Summit held last week at George Washington University, covered some of the biomedical risks of a potential human trip to Mars and the countermeasures required to arrive healthy (and maybe return to Earth, but not all trips include that option). Medical Risks on a Mission to MarsPanel chair Dr. Kris Lehnhardt, Emergency Medicine faculty at George Washington University Hospital, went over some general known biomedical risks of spaceflight and how a long duration flight would exacerbate or modify those risks. Some of the risks included: space motion sickness, vibration effects, auditory injury from the constant noise astronauts are exposed to during flight operations, psychosocial risk factors from team dynamics and isolation, and possibly the most important factor, making sure the toilet technology works during the entire proposed mission. As Dr. Lehnhardt relayed, a crewmember told him once, “When a toilet is broken on the spacecraft, nothing else matters”
Medical Risks on a Mission to Mars medGadget
Researchers from NASA Johnson Space Center Neurosciences Laboratory and National Space Biomedical Research Institute are testing a new system that may make astronauts’ return to Earth a bit easier. If you’ve ever seen space travelers land back on terra firma after months in orbit, you must have noticed that they are usually carried by others or use wheelchairs. This happens because over time our sensory system forgets how to coordinate using gravity as one of the inputs. The new system may end up being used on spacecraft to keep astronauts from forgetting how to walk when gravity comes back to them.
2009 Medical Sci-Fi Contest Winners medGadget
Today we’re happy to announce the winner and runners up of our fourth annual Medical Sci-Fi Writing Contest. Medgadget’s editors and Dr. Allen Roberts from GruntDoc would like to thank everyone that submitted their stories because they were fun, thought provoking, and in many ways very inspirational. And now we’d like to congratulate Evan Perriello, this year’s winner of the Amazon Kindle reader, for his short story “HeartPlus”. The runners up are James H. Dawdy for “Mars Rescue” and Hans Patrick Griesser for “WHAT’S MORE AFFORDABLE THAN FREE?”