Average citizens are poised to travel into space in significant numbers in the coming years. But unlike super-fit astronauts, space tourists suffer from a full range of health problems. How will they fare? Will pacemakers and other medical devices work in zero gravity? Will medications cause unusual reactions?
Researchers at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla are working with NASA to answer some of those questions.
Drs. Ravi Komatireddy and Paddy Barrett recently tested a San Diego-made wireless vital signs device in a special NASA aircraft that simulated zero gravity by flying a series of roller-coaster routes over the Gulf of Mexico.
The Visi Mobile device could be used to study how the bodies of space tourists respond to the rigors of traveling to the edge of the atmosphere and into orbit. It might also be useful in diagnosing and treating medical emergencies aboard tourist spacecraft.
Drs. Komatireddy and Barrett discussed their work on KUSI TV’s Good Morning San Diego news program.