Prevention of decompression sickness during a simulated space docking mission.
This study has shown that repetitive exchanges between the American Apollo space vehicle atmosphere of 100% oxygen at 5 psia (258 torr) and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft atmosphere of 30% oxygen-70% nitrogen at 10 psia (523 torr), as simulated in altitude chambers, will not likely result in any form of decompression sickness. This conclusion is based upon the absence of any form of bends in seven crewmen who participated in 11 tests distributed over three 24-h periods. During each period, three transfers from the 5 to the 10 psia environments were performed by simulating passage through a docking module which served as an airlock where astronauts and cosmonauts first adapted to each other's cabin gases and pressures before transfer. Biochemical tests, subjective fatigue scores, and the complete absence of any form of pain were also indicative that decompression sickness should not be expected if this spacecraft transfer schedule is followed.
Cooke, JP; Bollinger, RR; Richardson, B
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