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  A doctor's notes on Astronaut sicknesses

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Author Topic:   A doctor's notes on Astronaut sicknesses
Captain Apollo
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From: UK
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-31-2004 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Captain Apollo   Click Here to Email Captain Apollo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
http://www.doctorzebra.com/drz/s_medhx.html

Take a look at this - from an MD's website. Some errors, but some things I never knew

KC Stoever
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Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 08-31-2004 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is interesting. I've seen a version of this before.

Two errors that I spotted right away.

First, Carpenter was an on-and-off smoker since joining the Navy as an 18-year-old in 1943. Mostly on. Camel unfiltered. Once selected for Project Mercury, he would quit for purposes of training (prob. for MA-6 and MA-7 and perhaps for Sealab missions). But he smoked after those missions throughout the 1960s until about 1985.

Second, Glenn never smoked tobacco, according to Carpenter, who was aware of Schirra's account. On rare occasion, according to Carpenter, Glenn smoked kinnikinik, a medicinal plant (bearberry) used by native Americans. Berries are edible, and the dried leaves, when smoked, are said to be quite pleasant without the unpleasant (and addictive) properties common to tobacco.

As for Glenn's heartbeat on the launchpad and the urban legend (which I've never heard myself), one could check the bluebook report, which supplies charts of heart rate, with explanatory text from the medics.

In this case Kraft, I believe, is right. It never happened.

WAWalsh
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From: Cortlandt Manor, NY
Registered: May 2000

posted 08-31-2004 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It does have some interesting moments. I need to go back and look at "Last Man on the Moon" to see if Gene Cernan really claimed he received a bad sunburn because his suit split and his back was exposed. Seems like a misinterpretation to me. He also indicated that the crew of Soyuz 18 pulled 20+ g during reentry, which seems high.

I would like to see a related link on the site to Stupid Flight-Surgeon Tricks to be expanded.

DavidH
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From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 08-31-2004 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've not read the Burroughs book. Has anybody else heard anything about cosmonauts smoking on Mir?

------------------
http://allthese worlds.hatbag.net
"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

KC Stoever
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From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 08-31-2004 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From "The Spacewalk from Hell" chap. 13, The Last Man on the Moon, p. 138:

"Although my mask was cold, my lower back was scalding hot. During the somersaults of daylight umbilical dynamics, I had ripped apart the rear seams on those seven inner layers of heavy insulation and the Sun had baked the exposed triangle of unprotected skin."

I spoke with Cernan in 2002 about his spacewalk when researching NASA's too-little too-late EVA training procedures ca 1965. He whistled ruefully, remembering the event. He urged me to read his account. Spacewalk from hell is right.

Max Faget anticipated high-G reentries as early as 1958. "What happens," he asks rhetorically, in oral interviews, "if the Atlas fails at a velocity near to 18,000 feet per second? . . . . the centripetal force from circling the earth at constant altitude would be only about one-half G." But then you start to fall and when this happens you're "reentering at about a ten- to twelve-degree flight-path angle." That produces at least 18 Gs of drag.

Faget asked Carter C. Collins to try these Gs at the Navy's Johnsville centrifuge. Collins went up to 20 Gs, allowing a grateful Faget to report to a skeptical and conservative Air Force medical community that reentry even at 20 Gs was humanly possible.

Note that the Navy medics had already figured out the superior supine position (G sub z) and used it at Johnsville; Faget used this mode for his supine contour couch for Project Mercury. The Air Force was still using the G sub x (seated) mode in their Wright-Pat centrifuge. Can't sustain as many Gs this way.

[This message has been edited by KC Stoever (edited August 31, 2004).]

Captain Apollo
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From: UK
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posted 08-31-2004 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Captain Apollo   Click Here to Email Captain Apollo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't know Deke Slayton was missing a finger (something he shared with Scotty - James Doohan)


Incidentally, Dr Z also has a nice page on Presidential illness and infirmity - and I didn't know Bill Clinton wears hearing aids in both ears either.

[This message has been edited by Captain Apollo (edited August 31, 2004).]

KC Stoever
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From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 08-31-2004 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, Deke lost a finger, but at no loss to his mobility. It was not considered an impairment. Interestingly, though, he had this childhood injury in common with the more seriously impaired Chris Kraft, whose rather Strangelovian burn injury to his right hand was considered a physical disqualification. He did not win a much-desired WWII spot as a naval aviation cadet (V-12a program).

The common injuries go part way in explaining another bond Deke and Kraft shared: their suspicion of, and hostility towards,the medical establishment, particulary after specialists recommended that Deke not be given an early flight because of his atrial fibrillation.

Matt T
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Posts: 1356
From: Chester, Cheshire, UK
Registered: May 2001

posted 08-31-2004 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you ever see one of Deke's A7L suits you'll see that the glove has been molded to fit the stump of his finger.

Now that's perfectionism

Cheers,
Matt

------------------

www.spaceracemuseum.com

WAWalsh
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From: Cortlandt Manor, NY
Registered: May 2000

posted 08-31-2004 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will add this here, since it has come up. With almost no substantive knowledge of the Soviet program, the 20+ g reentry of Soyuz 18-1 caught my interest. Surfing produced the following general information.

What apparently happened was an abort during launch. Soyuz 18-1 was carrying two cosmonauts when launched. The second stage failed to separate as three of the six locks between stages remained in place. When the thrid stage lit, the second stage was blown clear but at the expense of the flight path and stability of the vehicle. There seems to have been a bit of a problem getting the Soviet mission control to recognize the problem and hit the abort. The Soyuz craft did separate and come down at 20+ gs before it landed on a mountain, and then tumbled down. Both cosmonauts survived, but Lazarev never flew again due to injuries. The Soviet government initially denied both cosmonauts their space flight bonus. I am sure that there is more detailed information out there for those with a greater interest in the Soviet missions.

Danno
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posted 08-31-2004 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pete Conrad:
During the Rorschach inkblot test in 1959, doctors routinely slipped a blank white card into the deck. Conrad "baffled the doctors by insisting it was upside down."

A-hahahahahaha

BLACKARROW
unregistered
posted 08-31-2004 07:12 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought that original Pete Conrad white card on E-bay. I have it framed on my study wall.

Upside-down, of course!

Honestly....

taneal1
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Posts: 196
From: Orlando, FL
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 08-31-2004 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for taneal1   Click Here to Email taneal1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting that there is no mention of the results of Ed White's autopsy. As I recall he had a severe blockage of the arteries on one side of his heart. And I believe an extremely high cholesterol level, although this may have been an assumption due to the arterial blockage.

KC Stoever
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Posts: 1009
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-02-2004 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott Carpenter had his fun with doctors, and inkblots, at Wright-Patterson. His wife, Rene, knew he would be taking a typical battery of psych tests, which would include the Rohrschach test. Don't ever say you see a bat, she cautioned. Bats are bad. She was partly joking--but remembered this bit of arcana from a psychology course at the University of Colorado.

After taking the measure of the psychiatrist with the cards, Carpenter said, "Oh, that looks like a bat." If you know Carpenter in the middle of a practical joke, you know the look on his face--wide-eyed pantomime of fear here.

"Oh?" the psychiatrist prompted, "What else do you see?"

Carpenter then exclaimed, "It's coming right at us!!"

Laughter ensued. Candidates got extra points, Allen Gamble said, for a demonstrating a sense of humor.

This account was first shared in WE SEVEN.

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