Astronauts are preparing for SpaceX’s private Polaris Dawn mission. However, their recent development has creeped out people on the internet with their strange, weird eyes that look straight out of “Minority Report.”
“What’s with the weird Photoshop in each Polaris Dawn crew member’s eye?” asked one confused Redditor.
This look is the result of using high-tech contact lenses.
Anna Menon, one of the mission’s astronauts and lead space operations engineer at SpaceX, spoke about it on Twitter to provide a clear close-up of the cyberpunk-looking contacts. A halo-like ring of light outlines the inside of her pupils, with a small white rectangle reflecting brightly within it. This white rectangle is what is causing the netizens to see a white speck in the eye in pictures from afar.
“Eye will be back… for research,” Menon tweeted, with the “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” theme blaring in the video to boot.
These lenses are essential to be worn by all astronauts to measure intraocular pressure. It’s part of a University of Colorado Boulder study into the recently discovered disease called spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome.
SANS is the abbreviation for the condition. It causes swelling of the optic nerve, changes in the eye’s shape and structure, and leads to blurring of astronauts’ vision. Its long-term effects are yet to be discovered. The cause is also not known now. The lenses used to evade the condition have micro-sensors inside. They will measure how the eye adapts once it enters microgravity.
The current theory states that fluid shifts in the eye and brain are responsible for SANS symptoms, which the scientists believe could be confirmed by the contact lenses’ data.
Till they find something, it is a good fashion statement.