A new diagnostic vision tool is specifically designed for a visionary group of patients-those with their sights set on Mars. The “Vision for Mars” tool is being designed for NASA by Web Vision Technologies and will include comprehensive vision testing, evaluation and medical guides for astronauts experiencing vision problems on future long-duration, deep space missions.

If science is able to get a human being to the Red Planet, it must first ensure their health and safety for the trip. Any instrument that can monitor and help them care for their vision is crucial. As it is, though, space shuttles have limited room. Any such device must therefore be multi-functional, incorporating the most vital capabilities, such as visual field testing, retinal imaging, functional vision, and optical coherence technologies. To add to the challenge, it must also be compact and able to withstand space travel itself.

A device such as this isn’t simply used in the case of emergencies. Astronauts routinely experience visual issues—especially on long-duration missions—likely due to the fluctuations in atmospheric pressures they undergo. This can result in changes such as loss of visual function, swelling of the optic disc, globe flattening, choroidal folds, cotton wool spots and refractive shifts.

Web Vision will seek other companies to partner with in the development of this instrument later this week at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Conference in Chicago.

Main B. Web vision technologies announces the vision for Mars project to help NASA protect the visual health of astronauts. Web Vision Technologies. webvisiontechnologies.net/in-the-news. Published August 2018. Accessed October 23, 2018.