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doctordog
09-15-2010, 11:36 PM
Oh, It Hurts Some astronauts report losing their fingernails on spacewalks because of bulky gloves that cut off circulation and chafe against their hands. To avoid this inconvenience, a couple astronauts have taken to ripping off their own fingernails before reaching orbit. NASA
Did you think drinking your own urine was bad? To truly test whether you have the right stuff, imagine ripping out your own fingernails, on purpose.

A couple of astronauts have done this before going into orbit, because they figure it’s better than losing them inside chafing, unwieldy spacesuit gloves, according to Dava Newman, director of MIT’s technology and policy program and director of the university’s Man Vehicle Lab. Newman, who has studied space-related injuries, told a group of journalists at MIT that some astronauts have reported losing their fingernails during spacewalks. Fingernail trauma and other hand injuries are spacewalkers’ biggest complaint, she said.

In a forthcoming study, Newman says astronauts with big hands suffer the worst. National Geographic News explains that improved, custom-fitted gloves might be the solution.

In a recent study of astronaut injuries, at least 22 reported lost fingernails, a phenomenon called fingernail delamination. It happens because of pressure on the fingertips, but researchers also think circulation cutoff could be to blame, NGN explains.

Astronaut gloves are designed to simulate the air pressure on Earth, so they’re made of a pressurized rubber layer embedded in a thick, space-proof shell. Spacewalking astronauts must constantly fight against the bulky pressurized glove to do their work — imagine gripping a wrench while wearing skiing mittens, and you get the idea. This constant bending and flexing causes chafing, blisters and, apparently, fingernail loss.


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Science, Rebecca Boyle, astronauts, international space station, space exploration, spacewalkers, spacewalking astronauts, spacewalksNASA has long known this is a problem, hence the agency’s two-time Astronaut Glove Challenge. Newman’s new study, which will be published in the October issue of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, says astronauts’ varying hand widths are the biggest problem. For astronauts with wide hands, gloves are too tight where the fingers meet the palm, and this might cut off circulation to the fingertips, the study says. Circulation loss could explain why fingernails fall off.

Customized gloves or new ones with robotic joints might be the best answer for these large-handed spacewalkers, as NGN reports.

Newman’s lab also works on building less-bulky spacesuits that rely on mechanical counterpressure, and she believes gloves with actuators might be the way to go, NGN says.

Frankly, we don't much care what it looks like — we just hope engineers can come up with something to make this aspect of spaceflight a little less torturous

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-09/bulky-tight-fitting-gloves-cause-tough-nails-astronauts-lose-their-fingernails

Trinnity
09-15-2010, 11:40 PM
Yikes........

MarkMiller
09-16-2010, 12:23 AM
Aren't fingers important in space flight?

anatta
09-16-2010, 12:29 AM
Yikes........
wonder why they couldn't tape around the nails, and cut them short -
but not rip them off - protect them from abrasions,
but the circulation problem would get worse.

huh.

Bill Cosby
09-16-2010, 01:27 AM
Yea, I never heard that either???

What about toenails??

Will the preflight pedicure just go to waste??

Will I get a refund or a manicure/pedicure allotment if I join the space team??

I would think the bone loss the worst part..........

Why does it degenerate in the zero gravity??

T-Cat
09-16-2010, 01:30 AM
Astronauts are prone to cataracts. It can't be much fun going blind and then not being able to find your fingernails that fell off.

Bill Cosby
09-16-2010, 01:45 AM
Astronauts are prone to cataracts. It can't be much fun going blind and then not being able to find your fingernails that fell off.

I heard that a while back...........

The radiation that causes that???

doctordog
09-16-2010, 01:45 AM
at least they have the opportunity to drop a bad habit while there

T-Cat
09-16-2010, 01:50 AM
I heard that a while back...........

The radiation that causes that???Yes I think it is some sort of radiation exposure, cosmic rays etc.

Bill Cosby
09-16-2010, 01:53 AM
at least they have the opportunity to drop a bad habit while there

What habit is that??

Bill Cosby
09-16-2010, 01:58 AM
Yes I think it is some sort of radiation exposure, cosmic rays etc.


It seems that we are quite frail & not well suited for long term space travel/habitation..........

I find the bone loss & rapidity the most surprising & frightening.....

Of course going blind is no fun either I would imagine......

T-Cat
09-16-2010, 02:03 AM
It seems that we are quite frail & not well suited for long term space travel/habitation..........

I find the bone loss & rapidity the most surprising & frightening.....

Of course going blind is no fun either I would imagine......The bone loss is a tough one to fight. Apparently they've tried various exercise routines which help prevent muscular atrophy but they don't do much to stop bone loss. Kind of makes planning long trips like one to Mars less appealing. Being weightless for a day or two would be cool though.

doctordog
09-16-2010, 02:07 AM
What habit is that??

biting their fingernails

Bill Cosby
09-16-2010, 02:18 AM
biting their fingernails


Oh, OK............. I was thinking it was a reference to that other thread.......... YOu know the one............

Going blind, losing your fingernails etc..........

http://www.zippygamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/sega-ad-31.jpg

Space is a pretty dangerous place............ Of course it is much safer than the local freeway though........:lmao2: