- Space adaptation syndrome
Space adaptation syndrome (SAS), or space sickness, is a condition experienced by around half of
space travelers during adaptation to microgravity. [ Tony Quine (2007): "Addicted to space: An appreciation of Anousheh Ansari, Part II" appeared in "Spaceflight", a publication of the British Interplanetary Society(BIS), ISSN 0038-6340, Volume 49, Number 4, April 2007, page 144.] It is related to motion sickness, as the vestibular systemadapts to weightlessness. [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080521112119.htm "Why Do Astronauts Suffer From Space Sickness?"] ScienceDaily (May 23, 2008)]
Space sickness is caused by changes in gravitational forces, which affect spatial orientation in humans. According to "Science Daily", "
Gravityplays a major role in our spatial orientation. Changes in gravitational forces, such as the transition to weightlessness during a space voyage, influence our spatial orientation and require adaptation by many of the physiological processes in which our balance system plays a part. As long as this adaptation is incomplete, this can be coupled to motion sickness (nausea), visual illusions and disorientation."
Space sickness was effectively unknown during the earliest spaceflights, as these were undertaken in very cramped conditions; it seems to be aggravated by being able to freely move around, and so is more common in larger spacecraft. Around 60 percent of all
Space Shuttlecrew members currently experience it on their first flight; the first case is now suspected to be Gherman Titov, in August, 1961onboard " Vostok 2", who reported dizziness and nausea. However, the first significant cases were in early Apollo flights; Frank Bormanon " Apollo 8" and Rusty Schweickarton " Apollo 9". Both experienced identifiable and fairly severe symptoms — in the latter case causing the mission plan to be modified.
As with motion sickness, symptoms can vary from mild nausea and disorientation, to vomiting and intense discomfort; headaches and nausea are often reported in varying degrees. About half of sufferers experience mild symptoms; only around 10% suffer severely. The most extreme reaction yet recorded was that felt by Senator
Jake Garnin 1985 — after his flight, NASA astronauts began using the informal " Garn scale" [http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/oral_histories/StevensonRE/RES_5-13-99.pdf, pg 35, Johnson Space Center Oral History Project, interview with Dr. Robert Stevenson:
"Jake Garn was sick, was pretty sick. I don't know whether we should tell stories like that. But anyway, Jake Garn, he has made a mark in the Astronaut Corps because he represents the maximum level of space sickness that anyone can ever attain, and so the mark of being totally sick and totally incompetent is one Garn. Most guys will get maybe to a tenth Garn, if that high. And within the Astronaut Corps, he forever will be remembered by that."] to measure reactions to space sickness. In most cases, symptoms last from 2–4 days.
Modern motion-sickness medications can counter space sickness, but are rarely used — it is thought that having space travelers adapt over the first day or two is preferable to a medicated (and drowsy) state during a mission. However, transdermal
dimenhydrinateanti-nausea patches are typically worn during launch and landing by NASA crew members.
Mission-critical activities (especially EVA, during which vomiting could be fatal) are generally not scheduled for the first days of a mission, to allow crews to adapt to zero-g. Due to the danger posed by possible vomiting in an extravehicular suit, transdermal dimenhydrinate patches are also typically used during EVAs, as an additional backup measure.
Human adaptation to space
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
space adaptation syndrome — a form of motion sickness occurring in a weightless environment during space flight, with nausea, vomiting, anorexia, headache, malaise, drowsiness, and lethargy. It is probably caused by conflicting signals concerning motion from the otolith… … Medical dictionary
space sickness — n sickness and esp. nausea and dizziness that occurs under the conditions of sustained spaceflight * * * space adaptation syndrome … Medical dictionary
Space colonization — Artist Les Bossinas 1989 concept of Mars mission Space colonization (also called space settlement, space humanization, or space habitation) is the concept of permanent human habitation outside of Earth. Although hypothetical at the present time,… … Wikipedia
Space Shuttle — STS redirects here. For other uses, see STS (disambiguation). This article is about the NASA Space Transportation System vehicle. For the associated NASA STS program, see Space Shuttle program. For other shuttles and aerospace vehicles, see… … Wikipedia
Space Race — For a discussion of all spaceflight programs to date, see History of spaceflight. For a list of key events, see Timeline of space exploration. For other uses of the term, see Space Race (disambiguation). A replica of Sputnik 1, the world s… … Wikipedia
Space habitat — A pair of O Neill cylinders … Wikipedia
Space toilet — A space toilet, or zero gravity toilet, is a toilet that can be used in a weightless environment. In the absence of weight the collection and retention of liquid and solid waste is directed by use of air flow. Since the air used to direct the… … Wikipedia
syndrome — The aggregate of symptoms and signs associated with any morbid process, and constituting together the picture of the disease. SEE ALSO: disease. [G. s., a running together, tumultuous concourse; (in med.) a concurrence of symptoms, fr. syn,… … Medical dictionary
Adaptation Humaine À L'espace — L adaptation humaine à l espace est l ensemble des études et des techniques qui doivent permettre à l homme de combattre les conséquences négatives de l absence de pesanteur sur sa physiologie durant ses séjours dans l espace. Il s agit d un axe… … Wikipédia en Français