Here on Earth, having a medical emergency means calling an ambulance and getting to a nearby hospital as soon as possible. In space, that’s not really an option. For astronauts living on the International Space Station, Earth is several hours away, and the only way to get back is on a capsule that plunges through the planet’s atmosphere. That’s why astronauts have basic medical training so they can deal with a medical emergency if one arises.
However, there is always the option to evacuate the ISS if a medical situation is dire enough. On a trip to the Moon or Mars, that won’t be a possibility. A trip to the Moon takes several days, while a trip to Mars could take several years. Astronauts on those missions will need to work autonomously to address any major health problems, especially those traveling to Mars, who will have limited communication with ground control. Radio signals could be delayed by up to 20 minutes each way on a Mars mission, which means they’ll be on their own.
So how exactly do you train for medical emergencies in deep space? That’s something that Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is working on. With funding from NASA, researchers at BWH have built a deep space medical sick bay at the hospital’s STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation. It looks like something ripped from a science fiction spaceship, but it’s meant to mimic what a real medical module might be like on a deep space NASA mission.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.