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Retinal Photography (DSO 474)
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Clinical medicine
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Space Adaptation Syndrome (SAS) is a significant medical problem adversely affecting approximately 50 percent of U.S. and Russian crewmembers. Although many of the symptoms are similar to those seen in motion sickness on Earth, SAS has not been positively correlated with susceptibility to ground-based motion sickness, and therapeutic responses to anti-motion sickness drugs in flight have not been uniformly successful. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) with symptoms of lassitude, headache, anorexia, nausea, and emesis common to SAS, may be a more accurate ground-based correlate. Increased intracranial pressure and cerebral edema are thought to be contributing factors to the development of AMS. The well documented upward fluid shifts that occur in microgravity may induce increased intracranial pressure and mild cerebral edema in crewmembers, which may contribute to SAS. As gravity has been shown to be a major factor which influences brain hydration, the role of increased intracranial or mild cerebral edema as a contributing factor in SAS was investigated.

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Mader TH, Taylor GR, Hunter N, Caputo M, Meehan RT. Intraocular pressure, retinal vascular, and visual acuity changes during 48 hours of 10 degrees head-down tilt. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1990 Sep;61(9):810-3. []

Meehan RT, Taylor GR, Rock P, Mader TH, Hunter N, Cymerman A. An automated method of quantifying retinal vascular responses during exposure to novel environmental conditions. Ophthalmology. 1990 July;97(7):875-81. []

Philpott DE, Harrison G, Turnbill C, Bailey PF. Modification of a Kowa RC-2 fundus camera for self-photography without the use of mydriatics. Brain Research Bulletin; 4; 1979.

Taylor GR, Meehan RT, Hunter NR, Caputo, Michael P.; Gibson, C. Robert5. Portable dynamic fundus instrument. US-PATENT-5,125,730, US-PATENT-APPL-SN-562095. [NTRS]

Space motion sickness (SMS)
Retinal artery
Retinal vein

Photo Gallery
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Data Information
Data Availability
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-33 11/22/1989 11/27/1989 5 days
STS-34 10/18/1989 10/23/1989 5 days
STS-41 10/06/1990 10/10/1990 4 days
STS-50 06/25/1992 07/09/1992 14 days
STS-52 10/22/1992 11/01/1992 10 days
STS-53 12/02/1992 12/09/1992 7 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)