Menon confirmed that crewmembers are screened prior to selection to reduce medical problems in flight. Wotring was not able to access the diagnoses behind the use of medication. Nevertheless, the space station carries a plethora of antibiotics just in case. He took his silver astronaut pin. 1 pair of shoes for the treadmill1 pair of shoes for the bike1 pair of exercise shorts for every 3 days of exercise1 T-shirt for every 3 days of exercise1 work shirt for every 10 days1 T-shirt for under the workshirt for every 10 days1 pair work pants/shorts for every 10 days1 pair underwear for every 2 days1 pair socks for every 2 days2 sweaters2 pairs Russian overalls (optional). Benjamin Plackett is a science journalist based in London and the Middle East. One of them is a physiological system that prevents blood from pooling in the feet and legs. She said that Wotring's findings complement her own studies, "It gives you confidence when someone else's results align with your own.". Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis, Image left: Mann studies the checklist as his team carefully wraps a spacesuit before packing in a specially designed container prior to stowing on the shuttle. "If we go to Mars we'd have even smaller packs and maybe just one. Some everyday things are near-impossible for astronauts to do in space. Copyright © 2020. Seventy-one percent of the crewmembers took some sort of medication to induce or maintain sleep during their mission; the drug of choice was usually Zaleplon or Zolpidem—both of which are prescription medications. Then the pressure would really be on.". Photo credit: Courtesy of United Space Alliance. NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Image right: Mann wraps one of thousands of items that will be stowed on the space shuttle before launch. Each U.S. crewmember of the International Space Station has two so-called "flight surgeons" assigned to them. "The chief drivers of medication use were sleep and congestion or allergy symptoms," said study author Virginia Wotring, an assistant professor at the Center of Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Astronauts should pack sleeping tablets and congestion medication before heading for the space station. Your browser or your browser's settings are not supported. xmlns:xsl='http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform'">. The Russian Soyuz Space capsule usually has weapons in its survival kit to protect astronauts from wild animals-especially bears–if it happened to land in remote forest regions, such as Siberia. 1. There is no washing machine in space.Water is heavy and therefore expensive to take on a 250-mile journey above Earth. All rights reserved.For reprint rights. It's the responsibility of these surgeons to pack the pills. They get a lot less cold symptoms.". "I don't know if these were true allergies," said Wotring. In order to become one of the few people to travel to space, astronauts must be willing to do a lot of work at home. It's the responsibility of these surgeons to pack the pills. Reports of medications to treat skin irritations were also common. The light on the station is also quite dim and occasionally the astronauts have to work odd shifts. 2. The largest items, at the Apollo 11 site and its successors, were at the scientific and engineering heart of the program. My son, Timothy. 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Fifty-five percent of Wotring's sample was treated for allergy or congestion symptoms during their stay on the station — 38 percent of them were treated for this issues continuously or repeatedly. Soon after landing on the Moon, Bean wrote, “ . Nor did the study did look at the medical records of the crewmembers before or after their mission. This article talks about a 'Personal Preference Kit;, a bag measuring 5" x 8" x 2", that could weigh no more than 1.5 lbs. Astronaut Alan Bean made his first trip into space for the Apollo 12 mission. javascript is enabled. NASA points out that because astronauts live in temperature-controlled environments and don't go outside except when wearing their spacesuit, clothes don't get as dirty as they do on Earth. (Inside Science) -- Packing for a long trip can feel like a daunting task. "We try to contour the personal pack to each person," said one of NASA's flight surgeons Dr. Anil Menon. Although if sight deteriorates then glasses are allowed onboard. Doctors frequently prescribe drugs for issues aside from the medication's primary use. From left to right are Craig Meyer, Mark Shimei, Ray Smith, Troy Mann. They get to ride in rockets and float about in space. A study recently published in The FASEB Journal has sought to make Menon's pill-packing job more data driven. 14 Normal Things Astronauts Can’t Do in Space Isabelle Tavares Updated: Sep. 27, 2019 In space, astronauts may have more problems than Houston wants to hear about. These types of studies will become more pertinent should humans ever venture a mission to the red planet, said Menon. I know he wants to be in space as much as I do. Instead of a 24-hour light-dark cycle we experience on earth, crewmembers on the space station see a sunrise and sunset every 92 minutes. Other experts agreed. Photo credit: NASA/KSC, Image right: Mann and his team grapple with the ground handling device to transport and load the heavy spacesuit safely onto Discovery. From left to right are Ray Smith, Craig Meyer, Mark Shimei, Troy Mann. Each U.S. crewmember of the International Space Station has two so-called "flight surgeons" assigned to them. Water is heavy and therefore expensive to take on a 250-mile journey above Earth. For no one is this more true than the men and women who don domed visors. If you know your browser is up to date, you should check to ensure that "A NASA astronaut’s job is mainly … Astronauts must do without whatever items they forget, which can become a serious issue when you consider the medical needs that may arise during a mission. "Our doctors will look at those things and do waivers to see if it is okay to fly," said Menon. . "Anything that gives us further insight into what to expect can be used in designing the packs." While it's likely the astronauts were taking sleeping tablets and congestion-relieving drugs because they were sleep deprived and felt congested, she doesn't know that for sure. "We usually have just six people up there with good filtering systems," said Menon, "They're also not around kids. Encouragingly though, Wotring's results match up with previous work. But it turns out that was the case on Shuttle missions.On the ISS each astronaut has a locker, part of a private compartment where they sleep, that can hold a lot more stuff. "One caveat of this study is that I don't know how often they would have used that medication on the ground," admitted Wotring, "I don't know if their usage is typical." There are several different medical boxes on the space station, which are grouped into categories such as injections, topical medication, oral medication, and emergency equipment. Laura Barger, instructor in medicine and associate physiologist at Harvard Medical School's Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders in Boston, researches the sleep patterns of astronauts. That's something she's looking into with a follow up study. Finally, any other issues that develop are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The paper analyzed the medical records of 24 space station crewmembers on missions lasting longer than 30 days from 2002 to 2012. In the background are a few of the many shelves that hold equipment and supplies awaiting their trip to the orbiter. All of those adaptations remain active when in space, which could mean there's more fluid in the head than usual, creating a sensation of sinus pressure or pains. Inside Science is an editorially independent news service of the American Institute of Physics, About Inside Science | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Reprint Rights  | Email alerts  |  Underwriters. They have to plan for any number of medical eventualities.