Author: Dr. Yohana David Laiser, MD
Medical Doctor | Space Exploration Enthusiast | Aspiring Public Health Specialist
The government of Tanzania has set itself a goal to venture into space exploration by launching its first ever Communication Satellite, scheduled for the end of 2023 following similar endeavors by other countries in the region. This daring spirit shown by the government is also reflected by a rising number of space-related activities, establishment of privately owned companies venturing into space exploration, and a germinating stalk of space ecosystem in Tanzania, most notably in the country’s commercial city of Dar es Salaam.
One of record-breaking events to ever happen in Tanzania is the NASA International Space Apps Challenge, which is the largest global hackathon organised by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States of America and partner organisations from all over the world, such as ESA, CSA, JAXA, ISRO and many more.
Author: InnovaSpace Team
Working towards a globally inclusive and diverse network of space professionals, researchers, entrepreneurs, students & enthusiasts - Space Without Borders
Time to catch-up with our colleague from the east, Chris Yuan, who very enthusiastically and capably established the Ursa Minor project in China, under the umbrella of the Planetary Expedition Commander Academy (PECA). It involves the development of new technologies and innovative training courses to encourage and inspire a future generation of space science researchers and astronauts.
As previously reported in 2022, Chris and his students learned how to perform the Evetts-Russomano CPR technique underwater on a manikin while diving, as the water simulates the weightlessness that is present in microgravity. This practice now forms part of a larger course, the Ursa Minor Interstellar Expedition Program, giving the opportunity for 12- to 18-year-olds to participate in an underwater space science training camp.
Author: Prof K Ganapathy
Director Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation, Apollo Tele Health Services | Distinguished Visiting Professor IIT Kanpur | Distinguished Professor The Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University | Emeritus Professor National Academy of Medical Sciences
5G is the fifth generation of wireless communication technology, promising faster data transfer speeds, lower latency (round trip latency >10 milliseconds), increased network capacity (1 million devices per sq km), 99.999% network reliability and battery life of up to 10 years for IoT devices. There is considerable hype in the media that deployment of 5G will revolutionize healthcare by enabling new medical applications and improving existing ones. Using Edge computing, 5G Data can be processed closer to where it is generated. IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) devices generate huge amounts of data. Cloud computing can provide the necessary infrastructure to process and analyze this data. Faster transmission of data will enable more efficient storage in the cloud. Accessing more bandwidth and computing resources, and providing infrastructure to enable scalability will now be less problematic.
No doubt clarity of images transmitted will be better and the immersive experience in video conferencing will be an all-time high. Mammograms, CT, MRI, and ultrasound images generate large amounts of data. High-speed transfer and processing will save a few minutes. Onboard cameras, camera-based Headgear, and ‘Body Cams’ for paramedics can transmit patient data to hospitals in real-time using ultra-fast and low-latency 5G connected ambulances, with medical equipment, patient monitoring applications and telemetry devices that ensure excellent pre-hospital management. 5G can facilitate real-time control of medical robots, enabling precise and safe interventions in performing complex procedures. 5G enables faster and more efficient data transfer, facilitating clinical trials and drug development, as these require the collection of large amounts of data from multiple sources.
InnovaSpace Journal Club #1 Report: Jugular Venous Blood Flow Stasis & Thrombosis During Spaceflight
Author: Lucas Rehnberg
NHS Doctor - Anaesthetics & Intensive Care | MSc Space Physiology & Health
Extremely pleased to report on the 1st InnovaSpace Journal Club meeting that had the participation of a very international audience, with attendees from Belgium, Brazil, India, Israel, Italy, Romania, and UK! Thank you to all those who attended and look forward to future talks and discussions.
For those who couldn’t attend, or are interested in the Space Journal Club, I have created a ‘one page’ summary of the paper we discussed. I have also added in the discussion points raised after the critical appraisal of the paper, together with links to additional reading material for anyone wishing to learn more.
PAPER PRESENTED & DISCUSSED:
After 50+ years of spaceflight, the first documented venous thrombus in an astronaut identified - highlighting a new pathology, not previously diagnosed in astronauts.
Who are the authors?
Experts in this field from several space agencies => NASA, IBMP (Russia), ESA
Funding => NASA, under the Human research program. Part of the multi-institution international fluid shifts study.
What is interesting about this paper/ Why would the medical space community be interested in this?
New pathology, not diagnosed before. Potentially massive implications for future long duration missions. LBNP could potentially be a countermeasure to enhance venous blood flow or improve cerebral venous outflow.
The research question.
Loss of hydrostatic gradient and variation on Earth, sustained fluid redistribution. Effect on cerebral venous drainage/blood flow. Possible mechanism linked to SANS? Increased risk of clot formation due to static/retrograde flow?
Why is this research question important?
Static/stagnant flow can predispose individuals to thrombus formation. Long lasting effects of thrombi for astronauts, potentially affecting crew performance (i.e. risk of anticoagulation, emboli, then leading to reduced performance affecting the crew and mission).
The study design.
Primary research => prospective cohort study (follow a similar patient group over time, comparing a particular outcome). Subjects were 11 astronauts, on the ISS.
Ultrasonographic assessment of left IJV (IJV are main conduits of cerebral drainage)
- pre flight (3 positions, seated, supine & head down tilt)
- at approximately D50 and D150 of spaceflight
- with and without LBNP (approx the same days, Russian Chibis-M LBNP)
Author: Lucas Rehnberg
NHS Doctor - Anaesthetics & Intensive Care | MSc Space Physiology & Health
My name is Lucas, I am a doctor in the UK working in anaesthetics (or Anaesthesiology for any American readers) and intensive care medicine. I have had an interest in space medicine for over 10 years now, inspired by none other than Prof Thais Russomano who has mentored me over the years and still does. My Master’s dissertation (back in 2009) focused on CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) methods in microgravity, with my continued research interest surrounding critical care in space. I am careful to say that I am a doctor with an interest in space medicine and physiology, as opposed to a ‘Space Doctor’ – as there are many individuals out there who have committed many more years than I have to this field and are vastly more experienced than I am! A club I aspire to join one day.
The idea of this blog, or series of blogs, is to look at some of the latest research in space physiology and space medicine, then consider how this will play out clinically. With a particular focus on critical care and potentially worst-case scenarios when in space (or microgravity environment). Something all doctors will have done in their careers; we are equipped with the skills to critically appraise papers and then ask if they are clinically relevant, or how will it change current practice.
Over the last 60 (ish) years of human space flight, there is lots of evidence to show that there are many risks when the human body has prolonged exposure to microgravity, which can affect most body systems – eyes, brain, neuro-vestibular, psychological, heart, muscle, bone, kidneys, immune system, vasculature, clotting and even some that we haven’t fully figured out yet. But then what needs to be done is to tease out how clinically relevant are these from the research, how could that potentially play out if you were the doctor in space, then how to mitigate that risk and potentially treat it.
Author: Tobias Leach
3rd Year Medical Student | University of Bristol | Passionate about space!
Space provides boundless opportunities for human existence and innumerable threats to human health.
The question is, are we yet prepared to deal with a catastrophic event, such as a cardiac arrest in space?
To gain an understanding of the current state of CPR in microgravity with a focus on chest compressions in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest onboard.
An Ovid Medline search was conducted: 17 articles were found; 12 were excluded; six additional articles were found in the references of the remaining five articles, bringing the total number of articles included to 11. These were then critically analysed.
No CPR method currently reaches the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) guidelines. The Handstand (HS) method appears to be the strongest. Evetts-Russomano (ER) is the second strongest method. Automatic chest compression device (ACCD) performed consistently well.
CPR appears to be far more difficult in microgravity. Inconsistencies in research methodology do not help. The ER method should be used as a first contact method and the HS method should be used once the casualty is restrained. An ACCD should be considered as part of the medical equipment. Further research is needed, directly comparing all positions under the same conditions.
Girls from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have launched nanosatellites to analyse air pollution, as reported by the UNICEF Office in Kyrgyzstan. According to the organisation, three nanosatellites were created by participants of the UniSat educational program, within a joint project between UNICEF and the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.
The organisation further reported that - "nanosatellites, which belong to the class of small spacecraft, weigh up to 10 kilograms and are equipped with several cameras, one of which is capable of capturing elliptical images of the Earth with 4K resolution. During launch, UniSats allow you to capture stunning high-resolution images of the Earth and space. Sensors collect data on radiation, pressure, gravity, light and gas composition, and large amounts of data, video and images are sent back to Earth for analysis."
"The launch of the nanosatellites is symbolic. It demonstrates the limitless potential of girls and women in Central Asia. Their ability to push the boundaries of science and technology. We are extremely pleased that this year we were able to include 2,000 female participants from the three countries in the program and inspire them to continue their education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We believe that the results of the UniSAT program will bring a cosmic change in society."
The nanosatellites were created by the girls as part of a 10-day marathon. The project participants mastered the design, engineering, programming, and assembly of the spacecraft. They were able to visit the centre for space technology and remote sensing, and the theoretical knowledge they gained was immediately put in practice during the classes. Under the mentors’ guidance, they designed nanosatellite bodies using 3D modelling and printed them on a 3D printer. The girls also programmed UniSat subsystems and tested them in the lab before launch.
"In Kyrgyzstan, only one in three girls aged 15-19 is computer literate, and more than 80 percent of girls choose social and human sciences. But how much do these choices reflect girls’ professional interests and aspirations? That’s why UNICEF launched Girls in Science in 2020 to help them expand their horizons, overcome gender stereotypes, and make their career choices. Every year, more than 10,000 girls join the initiative and more girls gain confidence in developing a career in science. In this context, the nanosatellite launch event is not only the result of two years of work for us, but also an inspiration for the potential of girls and our youth."
The UniSat program is supported by the Dubai Cares International Education Foundation, Clé de Peau Beauté brand, and philanthropist Nazanin Alakija
Space Law & Policy Analyst
On the 2nd of October 2020, the Astro Zimba space education curriculum for young children began its programme, launching a pilot study with the Whitestone School, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. This space education curriculum recognises that building Zimbabwe’s space autonomy is hinged on the nation’s capacity to make a critical mass of skilled individuals. This capacity-building must necessarily begin from the early developmental stages.
The Astro Zimba curriculum, created by myself and Marco Romero, in collaboration with InnovaSpace and Students for Exploration & Development of Space (Zimbabwe), is a series of lectures on space and space-related themes, using interactive sessions, games, videos, comic books and other learning activities to spark space science and technology curiosity amongst the youth. This is done in the hopes that more children, especially young girls, will be inspired to take up STEM subjects and careers. The founders of this programme identified a gap in existing curricula, one which they wish had been filled during their initial years, and one which they believe has a profound impact on the development of the space industry.
Space sciences and technology, while a rapidly developing and exciting field, can often be quite a technical subject area for young children to understand. That said, having a dedicated programme which delivers science content in an engaging, tailored and fun way helps to boost interest in young children. It has the dual effect of inspiring both genders to become involved, which is the goal of the Valentina project for girls, facilitated by InnovaSpace, acknowledging that young girls are underrepresented in the STEM sciences. Giving access to quality education boosts social and economic circumstances, alleviates poverty and empowers young girls, positively impacting on the SDG 1 (poverty reduction), SDG4 (quality education) and SDG5 (gender equality).
The following lesson plans were presented during the pilot study. The introductory video sought to spark the learner’s curiosity and inspire more children to pursue careers in the space industry. Having careers in the space industry, the Founders thought it important to add a touch of personal experience and insights, including initiatives that have made a difference in their personal career journeys. The learners are introduced to each week’s theme through an interactive video message, before proceeding with practical in-person class sessions.
National Point of Contact, Space Generation Advisory Council - Zimbabwe
High Altitude Balloon Discover Mission (HABDM) is the first space student-led project that has been done in Zimbabwe. The project was a collaborative engagement project between students from the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Zimbabwe (SEDS Zimbabwe) and the Meteorological Service Department (MSD) of Zimbabwe. The purpose of this mission was to spearhead space education in Zimbabwe and ensure that students are aware of the opportunities that space has. Our primary goal was to record the flight to the stratosphere and use that footage for educational purpose as well as celebrating the World Space Week. Prior to the launch date we decided that we would send our payload together a radiosonde from the MSD so that we could compare the atmospheric information obtained.
To add to the mission, we covered the capsule pink acknowledging that the month of October is the month for breast cancer awareness. It only took us three days to have all the equipment for the payload. Despite the risks involved and the probability of failing to recover our instruments was high because we did not have enough time to prepare. We had seen videos of well-prepared teams who had done high altitude projects facing some challenges in recovering their payloads when they were using state of the art equipment. So in our case to avoid too much disappointment we had to lower our expectation and accept any outcome.
On the 10th of October the whole team met at the MSD offices and without wasting time the balloon was launched. We were graced by the presence of the Deputy Director of MSD Zimbabwe, Mr Mazhara. Unfortunately on the launch the weight of the payload posed a huge challenge. We ended up removing the radiosonde to ensure that the balloon ascended to the stratosphere. Our payload consisted of two cameras, mobile device, usb adapter, power bank and a data logging system. The team consisted of students from University of Zimbabwe and National University of Science and Technology Zimbabwe, with the assistance from Claire a geography teacher at St John’s College in Harare and William, a self-employed space enthusiast. It was through the collaborative effort of the team that we were able to have all the resources that were needed for the launch. The MSD came through for us by providing us with the balloon and hydrogen gas.
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