While the passengers themselves may not be charting out new worlds, their participation may help us navigate the medical arena of space travel.
(AMNews) "We're bringing civilian space travel into a different medical paradigm," said Jan Stepanek, MD, MPH, director of the aerospace medicine program at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and a physician within Mayo's executive health program. "Are these people going to have problems with coronary artery disease or pulmonary disease that could put them at risk? Something that could lead to an in-flight medical emergency that could compromise the safety of passengers or the safety of the flight?" [...]
This is why Mayo Clinic in Arizona has joined aerospace experts at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and Wyle Laboratories in Houston to form a medical space tourism program. The trio is offering commercial space flight companies their services to screen and prepare civilians for trips into orbital and suborbital space.
Even though humanity still has a long way before figuring out how we are going to live upon other worlds, this research should enable doctors to diagnose and (hopefully) prepare patients for the ride of their life time.
In time, doctors may be able to determine a standard to see who is fit to travel beyond the stars, enabling the masses to safely consider a future lunar side (or even upon Mars).
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