Astronauts Often a Bit Woozy

Spacesickness a common malady for unearthly missions
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 12:52 PM CST
An image released by NASA shows astronaut Scott Parazynski anchored to a foot restraint on the end of the Orbiter Boom Sensor System assesses his repair work as the solar array is fully deployed during...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – We all know about carsickness and seasickness—but spacesickness? NASA is cagey about its vomiting astronauts, but about half of the 500 who’ve been to the final frontier suffer from “space adaptation syndrome,” reports Ned Potter for ABC News. So it comes as no surprise to Potter that when a German aboard the orbiting shuttle Atlantis was replaced on a recent spacewalk, it was for an undisclosed “medical issue.”

NASA’s guardedness is not without reason: While space programs are publicly funded and transparent, the privacy of individual astronauts is still mandated by law and propriety. The European Space Agency is a little more talkative; its website reports an update from one of their doctors stating that, while not life threatening, its spaceman’s condition was “not compatible with a spacewalk.” Whatever that means.