OCT demonstrated at NASA

Video released by US space agency shows how crew members on the space station are using OCT to monitor their eye health

08 Jul 2015 by Ryan O'Hare

A new video has been released by NASA detailing how crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will take clinical measurements of their eyes in orbit.

The video shows the clinical team at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama demonstrating how a Spectralis OCT from Heidelberg Engineering, along with other diagnostic equipment, is being used to measure changes to the eyes and vision of crew members on the ISS.

In collaboration with Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, NASA is carrying out an experiment to monitor changes caused by prolonged time in microgravity as part of the fluid shift experiment. Crew members will regularly carry out a host of measurements including monitoring their retinas, optic nerves and intraocular pressure.

The experiment comes in response to evidence of changes to the eyes and vision of astronauts returning from missions, such as scotomas and hyperopic shift, which are believed to be caused by the movement of the body’s fluids towards the head in the reduced gravity environment of space.

Crew members aboard the ISS received much-needed food and supplies earlier this week after the completion of a successful resupply mission. The Russian-led mission follows two failed US attempts, including the explosion of an unmanned SpaceX Falcon rocket last month (June 28).

Image credit: NASA

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