[Ed. – Good thing for Obama he chose an important career like community organizer instead of astronaut.]
A long-awaited human mission to the Red Planet is still a number of years away, with NASA planning their first manned voyage in the 2030s. But at more than 55 million kilometers away, astronauts face at least half a year of space travel just to get to Mars — not to mention the return journey. Of the multitude of obstacles to overcome, the health of the astronauts during such a long period in space is of chief concern.
Scientists in Germany are using advanced imaging technology in a bid to understand one unusual phenomenon – why astronauts’ skin gets thinner while in space. Led by Professor Karsten Koenig from the Department of Biophotonics and Laser Technology at Saarland University, researchers have used high-resolution skin imaging tomography to look into the skin cells of several astronauts before and after a trip into space.
The developers of the laser technology say the spatial resolution is a thousand times higher than that of ultrasonic devices — unmatched by any other product. It also has the potential, Koenig says, to revolutionize diagnoses in hospitals.