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Thank NASA Astronauts for the Eventual End of Airsickness

October 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM | by | ()

NASA has always been very eager to showcase "practical" space travel spin-offs. Voters have generally been reluctant to fund the space agency merely because it takes humanity into the stars and builds telescopes that peek into the origins of the universe—even the Apollo program had problems getting support at the time—so NASA tells people that space technology will also help scientists build better toasters or whatever. It's actually kind of depressing.

That said, and luckily, people who can land bus-sized rovers on other planets with tick-tock precision are obviously going to create some really cool stuff. And since it's already there, why not spin it off?

As far as travel is concerned, NASA recently completed a study on how to increase airplane energy efficiency by nearly 50% by designing "new airframes, structures, engines and aerodynamic techniques." That's a pretty big deal.

Potentially even bigger? The end of airsickness. For real, apparently.

The Daily Mail reports on how technology NASA developed for astronauts is being adapted into a nasal spray that can cure motion sickness. The drug, called intransal scopolamine (INSCOP), was created to keep astronauts traveling to mother-effing space from getting nauseous or light-headed. So once it's put into a spray, scientists are pretty confident that it will also work on people who sit in first class and complain about how the airplane taxiing across the runway really makes them woozy. It'll also work on everybody else, of course.

There's no word yet on when this drug will be developed. Or if the FDA will approve it. Or whether it will be prescription. Or how much it'll cost. But putting aside those minor details, we're apparently approaching a time when barf bags will be a thing of the past.

[Photo: kylemac / Flickr]

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