Futuristic contact lenses on SpaceX astronauts

The ‘strange’ eyes of astronauts on SpaceX’s private Polaris Dawn mission have drawn attention on social media in recent days. However, the look is not a photoshop error of the photos or anything like that. In fact, it’s the result of a technological contact lens, which looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

One of the mission’s astronauts, Anna Menon, posted a video on Twitter showing more details about the contact lens. It is possible to see a small circle of light inside the eye and even a small square inside.

futuristic contact lenses

But what do these contact lenses have besides the cyberpunk look? The Polaris Down mission will apply 38 experiments in space and the lens is one of them. The device is a project of the University of Colorado at Boulder to measure intraocular pressure.

The concern began in June last year, when NASA discovered neuro-ocular syndrome associated with spaceflight. The condition causes the structure to swell and can affect astronauts’ vision. The long-term consequences are not yet fully understood.

The latest theory is that the condition is caused by fluid changes in the eyes and brain. The futuristic contact lens aims to take steps to confirm this.

Polaris space program

Comprised of three missions, the Polaris program aims to “rapidly advance humanity’s spaceflight capabilities, and continue to raise funds and give visibility to important causes on Earth.” “Dawn” was the first (and so far only) mission launched from the project.

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The other missions of the Polaris program do not yet have names or dates announced. “Mission II” will also be done on a Crew Dragon and “will continue to push the boundaries of future manned space missions, space communication and scientific research”.

“Mission III” is much more ambitious: it will be nothing less than the first manned mission aboard a Starship, a spacecraft built by SpaceX to take the crew to the Moon and, eventually, to Mars. The target has not been announced.

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