Space Travelers Need Medical Clearance

First Posted: Dec 15, 2012 07:11 AM EST

Space travel has gone commercial and many privileged individuals have already reserved seats for a ride. With so many individuals geared up to be a part of such a remarkable venture, it is important that they first get a green signal from their doctors.

Before hitching a ride into space, clinicians will be asked to provide medical clearance for these people. A team of experts from North America have come up with an advisory list for the clinicians to follow.

According to experts those with pre-existing medical conditions should know that such space flights could be hazardous.  In 2009, a document published by The Aerospace Medical Association Commercial Spaceflight Working Group clearly stated that individuals with "well controlled medical conditions" could withstand the acceleration forces from a launch of a commercial spaceflight.

They highlighted symptoms such as loss of appetite, space motion sickness, fatigue, insomnia, dehydration and back pain as very common in a space flight.

They also noticed an increase in the proportion of space travelers who are not as healthy as the original astronauts.

"The government astronauts, they're very healthy and they pass tons of medical screening. But we don't want to only fly the healthiest people," said Dr. Marlene Grenon, from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)  and co-author of the paper to SFGate. "The normals, the everyday civilians that want to fly, they should fly."

According to the researchers, clinicians should consider developing a resource file for future reference. Apart from this, the medical documentation based on previous space travels should be easily and readily available.

This study was published in the British Medical Journal Christmas edition.

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