What’s wrong with their eyes: Photos of astronauts perplexed the Internet community

Astronauts preparing for a private SpaceX Polaris Dawn mission recently perplexed Internet users with their strange, almost creepy eyes that look like from the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”. 

“What is Photoshop in the eyes of every Polaris Dawn crew member?” asked one confused user of the popular Reddit resource.

The crew of the SpaceX Polaris Dawn mission. Take a closer look at their eyes. Photo: SpaceX

As it turned out, astronauts owe their amazing look not to bad work with Photoshop, but to something much cooler, namely high-tech contact lenses. 

Cyberpunk 2077

The situation was clarified by Anna Menon, one of the astronauts of the mission and a leading engineer for space operations at SpaceX. She provided a clear explanation and showed a video showing the operation of a gadget that looks like augmented vision from the Cyberpunk 2077 game universe. In the Twitter video, you can see a ring of light on the pupil of the eye with a small noticeable white rectangle brightly reflected inside it.

“Eye will be back…for research,” Manon commented.

Vision Rescue

According to Manon, special contact lenses will be worn by all astronauts to measure intraocular pressure. This is part of a study by the University of Colorado at Boulder on a newly identified disease called Neuro-Ocular Syndrome associated with spaceflight.

This disease causes swelling of the optic nerve, changes the shape and structure of the eye, and as a result can cloud the vision of astronauts. Its long-term effects, as well as its causes, are unknown. But by allowing astronauts to wear “smart” contact lenses with micro sensors, scientists hope to measure how the eye adapts after getting into microgravity conditions.

Earlier we reported on how James Webb technologies are already being used to treat vision.

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