Little-known problems of suborbital space tourism

Leave it to the UK tabloid The Sun to take on a particular medical issue associated with suborbital spaceflight:

WOMEN with boob jobs may be banned from Sir Richard Branson’s space flights — in case their breasts EXPLODE.

Yes, that’s right, explode. (Emphasis above in the original article.) The issue, Virgin Galactic’s Will Whitehorn said yesterday in a meeting in Dubai, is apparently associated with the low cabin pressure planned for SpaceShipTwo. (How low will that pressure be? Presumably the atmospheric pressure in the cabin will be high enough to allow people to breathe without masks; at what level would the pressure cause problems for implants but still be acceptable to breathe?) Whitehorn: “We’ve discovered there may well be issues with breast augmentation. We’re not sure whether they could stand the trip — they could well explode.” Of course, if they do pose a problem, Virgin might end up shutting out a significant fraction of potential tourists from the entertainment industry…

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