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Medicine NASA Space Science Technology

NASA Prepares For Space Surgery and Zero Gravity Blood 158

Hugh Pickens writes "Draining an infected abscess is a straightforward procedure on Earth but on a spaceship travelling to the moon or Mars, it could kill everyone on board. Now Rebecca Rosen writes that if humans are to one day go to Mars, one logistical hurdle that will need to be overcome is what to do if one of the crew members has a medical emergency and needs surgery. 'Based on statistical probability, there is a high likelihood of trauma or a medical emergency on a deep space mission,' says Carnegie Mellon professor James Antaki. It's not just a matter of whether you'll have the expertise on board to carry out such a task: Surgery in zero gravity presents its own set of potentially deadly complications because in zero gravity, blood and bodily fluids will not just stay put, in the body where they belong but could contaminate the entire cabin, threatening everybody on board. This week, NASA is testing a device known as the Aqueous Immersion Surgical System (AISS) that could possibly make space surgery possible. Designed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Louisville, AISS is a domed box that can fit over a wound. When filled with a sterile saline solution, a water-tight seal is created that prevents fluids from escaping. It can also be used to collect blood for possible reuse."
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NASA Prepares For Space Surgery and Zero Gravity Blood

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  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Sunday October 07, 2012 @11:17AM (#41576717)

    Why rotate. Nuclear powered spacecraft could simply keep accelerating at 1G until it was time to turn around and decelerate at 1G. Problem solves, and they would get there a lot quicker too.

    Because we don't have anything like the energy density required to do that (at least for times longer than microseconds, i.e., nuclear bombs).

    Energy density drives the engineering here. If we had enough energy density, we could soup up ion rockets or use nuclear thermal and get to places very fast.

    Make or find a ton of antimatter or so, and let's talk.

VMS must die!