A member of German Aerospace Center, DLR, medical team examines ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst's eyes in the run-up to his Blue Dot mission on the International Space Station.
Results from studies conducted on other astronauts suggest that weightlessness has a negative effect on vision; more research is required in this area. The examination includes Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), ultrasound images of the eye as well as detailed images of the head using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner.
During his mission, Alexander Gerst will be carrying out ultrasound exams on his own eyes. When he returns to Earth in November 2014, a further examination will be carried out and the data compared. In total, there will be some 100 medical experiments during the ‘Blue Dot’ mission.