All news from Aviation Medicine & Aerospace Medicine

Astronaut Health: ISS Microbes Should be Monitored to Avoid Threat

Scientists have identified strains of the bacterium Enterobacter on the International Space Station (ISS), which they say should be studied for potential health implications for astronauts on future missions. Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and California Institute of Technology in the US investigated five strains of Enterobacter that were isolated from the space toilet and the exercise platform on the ISS in March 2015.

Zero Gravity and Its Effects on Brain Elaborated

NASA has made a commitment to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. This is an ambitious goal when you think that a typical round trip will anywhere between three and six months and crews will be expected to stay on the red planet for up to two years before planetary alignment allows for the return journey home. It means that the astronauts have to live in reduced (micro) gravity for about three years – well beyond the current record of 438 continuous days in space held by the Russian cosmonaut Valery Polyakov.

Pilot Disorientation Prevented by Strong Ability to Detect and Perceive Motion

A new study led by researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear found that good performance on a piloting task was associated with lower vestibular thresholds, which represent stronger ability to sense and perceive information about motion, balance and spatial orientation. Published online today in the  Journal of Neurophysiology, the findings suggest that astronauts or pilots with higher vestibular thresholds are more likely to become disoriented during flight, especially in situations when gravity is less than that on Earth-such as on the Moon.

Astronauts: Surprisingly Familiar Food Ate in Space

Neil Armstrong may have taken that first small step for man on the moon, but it was John Glenn who took the first slurp of applesauce for humankind. Until he ate while orbiting Earth in 1962, scientists at NASA were not sure humans could swallow and digest food while in space. Luckily, I've chowed down in zero gravity with no trouble. Today's astronauts sometimes spend months at a time living in the International Space Station (ISS), so they'd get pretty hungry without a few snacks!