Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hurting in space

Since we are creatures of gravity, traveling in the relative weightlessness of space is always going to present a problem. Unless we can develop reliable artificial gravity, we will always have to find ways to address muscle atrophy, sickness, decline in immunity, and other problems. But this is the first time I have heard that we will always need to pack Tylenol on our trips.

Clara Moskowitz of Space.com has the story:
Traveling to space is a lot of fun, but can also be a headache. Literally.

A new study of 17 astronauts found that the majority of them experienced painful headaches when they traveled beyond Earth. The findings prompted doctors to call for designating space headaches as a new "secondary disorder."

Space headaches have been reported before, but until now they were thought to be related to the common motion sickness astronauts experience in space. The new study found that the two maladies are not actually connected.

"Our research shows that space flights may trigger headaches without other space motion sickness symptoms in otherwise super healthy subjects," said lead researcher Alla Vein of the Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands.
"Space headaches." I hate Earth headaches. The space variety must be just miserable.

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