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Cosmic Ray Effects on the Eyes of Stationary and Centrifuged Rats Flown on Cosmos 936 (COS 936-7)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Ocular physiological phenomena
Radiation biology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Wistar


The site of sharpest vision is located in the rod-free area of the fovea, the tiny central area of the macula. Cellular damage in this area, about 26 µm diameter in humans, could become a severe problem by limiting vision in space travelers. It is known that a short term flight causes damage in the retinas of mice and rats. In longer space flights, long term, low dosage radiation could cause lens changes, leading to cataracts. Although data are lacking in this area of long-term, low dose response, the possibility of extended flights makes such information vital.

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Philpott, D.E. et al.: Cosmic Ray Effects on the Eyes of Stationary and Centrifuged Rats Flown on Cosmos 936. Final Reports of U.S. Experiments Flown on the Soviet Satellite Cosmos 936. S.N. Rosenzweig and K.A. Souza, eds., NASA TM-78526, 1978, pp. 246-273.

Philpott, D.E. et al.: Retinal Changes in Rats Flown on Cosmos 936: A Cosmic Ray Experiment. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, vol. 51, 1980, pp. 556-562.

Philpott, D.E. et al.: Ultrastructural Investigation of the "Light Flash" Phenomenon Seen by Our Astronauts, through Exposure of Pocket Mouse and Rabbit Retina to X-Ray, Nitrogen, and Oxygen Irradiation. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Document LBL-2016, 1973, pp. 172-178.

Cosmic radiation
HZE particles
Radiation dosage
Radiation injuries
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Count, Macrophage, eye, rat, Microscopy
Damage, radiation, Lesions, eye, rat, Microscopy, observation
Morphology, Necrosis, eye, rat, Histology, microscopy
Radiation, dose, Provided, for study of synergism with weightlessness
Radiation, HZE particles, Detectors, plastic nuclear track (PNTDs, for high linear energy transfer [LET] particles), thermoluminescent (TLDs, for total dose of charged particles and gamma rays), Measurement
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Cosmos 936 08/03/1977 08/22/1977 19 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Ames Research Center LSDA Level 3
Project Manager: Sylvain Costes
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Protocol / Approach