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#176 2006-10-24 06:26:33

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

Will post the article since it requires an account to view....

NASA Seeks Volunteers to Spend 3 Weeks in Bed (It’s Tougher Than You Think)

What does it say about this country that it’s hard to find people willing to be paid to lie around all day and take an occasional spin?

NASA’s Johnson Space Center is conducting experiments on counteracting the effects of weightlessness. To simulate a zero-gravity environment, volunteers lie down for three weeks on beds with their feet about five inches higher than their heads. They do not get up: they eat propped on an elbow, use bedpans and shower lying down on a waterproof gurney.

Like real weightlessness, this simulated version can weaken muscles and bone. To determine whether the effects can be countered, the study puts some subjects in a daily one-hour ride on a centrifuge bed that spins about 30 times a minute to simulate gravity.

The problem is that the researchers are not finding many recruits, said Liz Warren, the deputy project scientist, who is working with NASA researchers and scientists from outside institutions, including the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They had hoped for about 30 participants and have enrolled about 10.

Some people may be put off by the centrifuge bed, which let’s face it  does look like a high-tech torture device. But Dr. Warren said just one potential test subject has had any significant motion sickness. Volunteers receive $6,100 for their time in the 41-day study, which includes 11 days of medical tests and 9 days of recovery.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to find volunteers, Dr. Warren said. You look at how many people in this country do nothing but be couch potatoes anyway. Why can’t they come work for us?

But later in the conversation, she shared an inkling. Could you lie down for that period? she asked. Could you take that much time off of work?

Would-be professional layabouts have until Nov. 12 to enter the study.

How many studies must we do on this?

This is the section that got me thou:

Volunteers to Spend 3 Weeks in Bed
Volunteers receive $6,100 for their time in the 41-day study, which includes 11 days of medical tests and 9 days of recovery.

Doing the math says that you are recieving a lowly $6.20 an hour does not quite seem to be high enough being that they want professionals to layabout.

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#177 2007-07-12 20:37:31

SpaceNut
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

I actually had forgotten about this thread until I just did a search on muscle atrophy.

Carbon nanotubes could help extend manned spaceflight

Astronauts can only endure space for about six months without irreversibly damaging their muscles, despite daily exercise. Unfortunately, it will take at least 30 months of space travel to reach Mars, making a manned flight unfeasible today.

Gee maybe a little longer but yes it is a problem...

By stimulating the neural pathways responsible for muscle atrophy, NASA hopes to fool the brain into thinking that gravity is still present even in free fall. "We hope to let the brain feel the weight of gravity, even if it's not there," said NASA scientist Jun Li. "For a trip to Mars, we could monitor astronauts' brains, then artificially stimulate its neurons with nanofiber electrodes to fool it into thinking gravity is still working."

Ok so trick the brain...

The project has been ongoing for about two and a half years at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. Scientists are working to develop a biocompatible implant that can interface to the brain as a prosthetic device that both monitors neural activity and stimulates neural tissue as necessary. The resulting vertically aligned carbon nanofiber (VACNF) electrodes could also be helpful on Earth for biosensors, medical implants to combat Parkinson's disease, as well as an anti-atrophy stimulator for deep-space travelers, according to Li.

This is starting to sound like those AB belt commercials only better.

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#178 2007-07-13 04:59:56

cIclops
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

Wow! Let's hope this works.


[color=darkred]Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget ![/color] [url=irc://freenode#space]  #space channel !! [/url] [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/c1cl0ps]   - videos !!![/url]

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#179 2008-01-30 08:01:43

cIclops
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

208739main_jsc2008e004100_low.jpg

Vertical Treadmill to Improve Astronaut Health in Space - 29 Jan 2008

WASHINGTON - NASA is using a new treadmill that allows people to run while suspended horizontally to help astronauts prepare for long-duration missions to the moon and beyond.

A team of engineers at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland built the Standalone Zero Gravity Locomotion Simulator to imitate conditions astronauts experience while exercising in space. Exercise in microgravity helps lessen the harmful health effects of long-duration space travel, promoting astronauts' well-being and mission success.

NASA currently is sending astronauts on six month missions to the International Space Station and plans to launch humans on missions to the moon by 2020. Crew members will benefit from data NASA gathers from bed rest studies conducted with the device. NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, will manage the studies that will be conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. NASA will use the locomotion simulator to develop improved exercise routines for astronauts during spaceflight.

"These studies are a key component of our research into how we can better protect astronauts," said Linda Loerch, project manager for the Exercise Countermeasures Project at Johnson. "The focus of our work is to understand how to maintain astronaut health and performance at the highest possible levels, both on our current flights aboard the International Space Station and for future exploration beyond Earth orbit."

Living in weightlessness can lead to aerobic deconditioning, muscle atrophy and bone loss, all of which can affect an astronaut's ability to perform physical tasks. On the International Space Station, crew members exercise daily to help counter the effects of prolonged weightlessness.

The treadmill simulates zero gravity by suspending human test subjects horizontally to remove the torso, head and limbs from the normal pull of gravity. Participants are pulled toward a vertically-mounted treadmill system where they can run or walk. The forces against a test subject's feet are precisely controlled and can mimic conditions of zero gravity in low Earth orbit or conditions on the moon, which has one-sixth the gravity of Earth. In addition to simulating exercise protocols, the device may be used to imitate the physiological effects of spacewalking.

Cleveland Clinic in Ohio collaborated closely with NASA in the development of the treadmill and currently is conducting bed rest studies with a similar device to understand how exercise during simulated spaceflight affects the muscles and bones.

"We are very proud of the collaborative effort this team put forth to develop this system," said Gail Perusek, project manager for Exercise Countermeasures at Glenn. "It required interdisciplinary expertise in engineering, controls and biomechanics, and we are confident it will facilitate valuable research for years to come."

The Standalone Zero Gravity Locomotion Simulator project and associated studies are under the direction of the Human Research Program within NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.


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#180 2008-01-31 06:01:33

SpaceNut
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

Nice image as it does reduce the effects of gravity to prove out whether exercise can help with the effects but who wuld have thought that we would be still working on this problem. I opened the thread back in Thu Sep 30, 2004 as we had just started getting good data points back from the ISS as to whether this exercise would help.

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#181 2008-01-31 08:15:15

cIclops
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

The health problems of low gravity are still there. There are not many "show stoppers" in going to Mars, but this might be one of them.  Putting people in a low gravity environment for three years is not viable until a solution can be proven to work.


[color=darkred]Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget ![/color] [url=irc://freenode#space]  #space channel !! [/url] [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/c1cl0ps]   - videos !!![/url]

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#182 2008-01-31 14:03:34

RobertDyck
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

I have to point out there's a huge difference between zero gravity and low gravity. Human metabolism effects of zero-G (or microgravity) have been well documented. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Shuttle, ISS, as well as Vostok, Soyuz, Salyut stations, have all compiled an extensive database. We know what it does, but it appears many of the metabolic effects are due to lack of chemical interaction due to zero convection or orientation of bone cells. Those won't be an issue for reduced gravity. The only reduced gravity effect I expect is bones optimize themselves for the load they experience. Meaning Mars astronauts will grow bones optimized for Mars gravity. That may be too weak for Earth, but perfect for Mars. In other words, not a problem.

Another effect is cellular senescence. If you have continuous rapid bone dissolution and bone growth, this increases the number of cell divisions necessary to maintain bone. Chromosomes have a ends called telomeres, they only permit between 50 and 100 divisions after conception then stop. This is the major aging clock. So rapid cell divisions just to maintain bone mass results in rapid aging. That's why starving yourself slows aging, it slows cell divisions. I could go into a long-winded argument of gene therapy to stop cellular senescence and consequently stop most of aging, but there are some people who actually don't want aging to stop or slow down.

The real kicker is that any Mars settler will not require bones for Earth. If his bones optimize themselves for Mars then stay that way, that's fine. It would be stable with no aging issues. The only issue is for an explorer, because he/she has to return to Earth. To avoid aging, just don't try to maintain an Earth body while on Mars. Exercise to build strength on the trip back to Earth.

This could be proven with the centrifuge accommodation unit on ISS. You could put an astronaut in Mars gravity long enough to measure the effects. Oh, but they cancelled that module. Damn stupid *(#&(*@

::Edit:: correct spelling

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#183 2008-01-31 18:17:09

GCNRevenger
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

We don't know everything about zero gravity exposure, namely the newly discovered effect on the immune system.

And about the ISS, we can't cram a man in a tiny 3-4m centrifuge for any length of time, likely minutes at most.


[i]"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw[/i]

[i]The glass is at 50% of capacity[/i]

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#184 2008-02-01 03:18:11

cIclops
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

I have to point out there's a huge difference between zero gravity and low gravity. Human metabolism effects of zero-G (or microgravity) have been well documented.

The effects may be well documented but that doesn't mean there's no problem. Astronauts can survive and quickly recover (in a few days or so) from 200 days in zero gravity, but there's no data at all on what will happen to them on Mars in low gravity for 500 days after 200 days exposure to zero gravity. Add to that another 200 days return to Earth in zero gravity (plus a high G reentry) and there's a  risk they may be permanently damaged or even dead. That will be a show stopper for further exploration. The longest anyone has survived in zero gravity is 438 days (Viktorenko) and not much was heard from him after his return.


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#185 2008-02-01 20:13:06

SpaceNut
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

We may yet be able to say shields up as the Sun shield to let space crews boldly go to Mars

· Scientists simulate solar wind in Oxfordshire lab
· Magnets give protection against cancer risk

developing a similar shield to protect them from the solar wind, a stream of high-energy charged particles from the sun travelling faster than the speed of sound.

They say protecting crew members on long-term missions to Mars or the moon will be essential because the stream of particles causes mutations to DNA which can lead to cancer.

UK researchers have created a scaled-down version of the solar wind in a lab in Oxfordshire to study how to use magnetic shielding to protect astronauts. "We now have actual measurements that show a 'hole' in the solar wind could be created in which a spacecraft could sit, affording some protection from 'ion storms', as they would call them on Star Trek," said Dr Ruth Bamford, a physicist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Chilton.

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#186 2008-02-01 20:17:22

RobertDyck
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

And about the ISS, we can't cram a man in a tiny 3-4m centrifuge for any length of time, likely minutes at most.

So what do you propose?

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#187 2008-02-01 20:36:42

JoshNH4H
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

I personally would propose an inflatible on a long string.

To answer the question in the topic, I think that we can, with proper vitamins, good shielding, excersize, and sleeping in a centrifuge  8) .


-Josh

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#188 2008-02-02 07:30:59

Terraformer
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

Or a central tube, with spokes off it to enlarge the diameter?

If energy isn't a problem, diamagnetism could be used to pull down of every cell in a body [that contains water]. That would simulate the efects of gravity.


Use what is abundant and build to last

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#189 2008-02-02 10:24:29

GCNRevenger
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

I would propose skipping centrifuges in orbit entirely, and instead use the Moon to test if reduced but non-zero gravity is a problem or not. If 1/6th G is good enough, surely 1/3rd G is too... And surely by the time we are ready to go to Mars, we will know if zero gravity is a problem or not (perhaps with some vibration or drug tricks), and design the Mars ships accordingly with artificial gravity systems.

A massive magnetic field to simulate gravity isn't really practical, and I would be concerned what extended exposure to the field would do to the body.


[i]"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw[/i]

[i]The glass is at 50% of capacity[/i]

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#190 2008-02-02 10:26:42

cIclops
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

A massive magnetic field to simulate gravity isn't really practical, and I would be concerned what extended exposure to the field would do to the body.

Not to mention the effects on the vehicle systems and the energy requirement.


[color=darkred]Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget ![/color] [url=irc://freenode#space]  #space channel !! [/url] [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/c1cl0ps]   - videos !!![/url]

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#191 2008-02-02 11:33:06

aftercolumbia
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

I have to point out there's a huge difference between zero gravity and low gravity. Human metabolism effects of zero-G (or microgravity) have been well documented. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Shuttle, ISS, as well as Vostok, Soyuz, Salyut stations, have all compiled an extensive database. We know what it does, but it appears many of the metabolic effects are due to lack of chemical interaction due to zero convection or orientation of bone cells. Those won't be an issue for reduced gravity. The only reduced gravity effect I expect is bones optimize themselves for the load they experience. Meaning Mars astronauts will grow bones optimized for Mars gravity. That may be too weak for Earth, but perfect for Mars. In other words, not a problem.

This is a bigger issue for the settlement of Mars.  If Jane and Joe had little Johnny, how different will his bones be because he grew up on Mars?  Because of his Mars optimized skeletal system, how difficult would it be for him to visit the homeworld of his parents?  Could other systems be more critical for his visit to Earth?  We can probably imagine this scenario more accurately by imagining what would happen if a normal Earth-optimized human were subjected to an environment of 2.5g for several days (walking, cooking, eating and taking dumps), or better still, actually trying it.  It would be a rather expensive experiment, since you'd need to make a centrifuge facility large enough that the test subjects can actually live in for several days and not experience excessive Coriolis effects and head-to-toe gradients.  You're standard amusement park ride centrifuge won't cut it (in part because the living one would need angled walls so the 2.5g combination of centrifugal force and gravity would be vertical to the floors proper to the occupants.)  Any volunteers?  (:raises hand)

Somehow, I doubt cytoplasmic convection happens by gravity (cells are like, 5 microns, give or take, and air convection almost stops at a few millimetres, which is why double and triple glazed windows have insulating value) and lymphatic and circular convections are forced.  Also, if it is an issue for microgravity, it will be an issue for sufficiently low gravity.  Convection is less effective with low gravity (or else GLM's vortex separators would be no better than a normal settling tank...might not be convection per se, but these devices rely on the same bouyant forces makes natural convection work.)  If this orientation/convection effect really does matter, and Mars gravity isn't low enough to mess with it, than it is very simple to maintain normal Earth-optimized bone strength on Mars...simply put a 200lb(mass) pack on your shoulders and it will happen entirely on its own.  This puts the same amount of weight on your big load bearing bones as they would experience on Earth.  If it does not matter (which is what I expect), then the source of the weight on the bones really doesn't matter, and neither does the ambient gravity.  I've read some of the bed-rest study stuff and some of the stuff about Russian microgravity health maintenance (the most famous example is Dr. Polyakov, who stayed on Mir for 437 days then walked from his Soyuz spacecraft after landing...not that doing so was particularly safe or easy, but it was possible), I think the latter situation is correct.

Another effect is cellular scenescense. If you have continuous rapid bone dissolution and bone growth, this increases the number of cell divisions necessary to maintain bone. Chromosomes have a ends called telomeres, they only permit between 50 and 100 divisions after conception then stop. This is the major aging clock. So rapid cell divisions just to maintain bone mass results in rapid aging. That's why starving yourself slows aging, it slows cell divisions. I could go into a long-winded argument of gene therapy to stop cellular scenescense and consequently stop most of aging, but there are some people who actually don't want aging to stop or slow down.

dang.

...
This could be proven with the centrefuge (sic) accomodation unit on ISS. You could put an astronaut in Mars gravity long enough to measure the effects. Oh, but they cancelled that module. Damn stupid *(#&(*@

Where's that emoticon that's banging itself against a brick wall when you need it?


Terry Wilson
After Columbia Project

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#192 2008-02-02 11:38:40

aftercolumbia
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

It is easy to break the sound barrier in a vacuum

Actually, it isn't, because you're in a free molecular environment, which means a shockwave doesn't form, which means that the molecules aren't bumping into each other, which means there is no sound, which means there is no sound barrier...the lack of existence of a barrier makes it difficult to break.  I learned this by ramming the door to my brother's house...which he flung open, leaving me to trip over the weather stripping at high speed (not a true story  lol  lol  lol )


Terry Wilson
After Columbia Project

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#193 2008-02-02 11:43:15

aftercolumbia
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

A massive magnetic field to simulate gravity isn't really practical, and I would be concerned what extended exposure to the field would do to the body.

Not to mention that it will wreak havoc on the ship's attitude control as it interacts with ambient magnetic fields (a particularly acute problem on low Earth orbit.)


Terry Wilson
After Columbia Project

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#194 2008-02-02 13:18:16

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

It is easy to break the sound barrier in a vacuum

Actually, it isn't, because you're in a free molecular environment, which means a shockwave doesn't form, which means that the molecules aren't bumping into each other, which means there is no sound, which means there is no sound barrier...the lack of existence of a barrier makes it difficult to break.  I learned this by ramming the door to my brother's house...which he flung open, leaving me to trip over the weather stripping at high speed (not a true story  lol  lol  lol )

then the sound barrier is 0.  tongue

Back to the topic, I think it won't really be a problem, there are a few simple and valuable things you can do to circumvent anything bad.


-Josh

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#195 2008-02-03 13:34:20

dicktice
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

Aftercolumbia, regarding your quote:

"Another effect is cellular scenescense. If you have continuous rapid bone dissolution and bone growth, this increases the number of cell divisions necessary to maintain bone. Chromosomes have a ends called telomeres, they only permit between 50 and 100 divisions after conception then stop. This is the major aging clock. So rapid cell divisions just to maintain bone mass results in rapid aging. That's why starving yourself slows aging, it slows cell divisions. I could go into a long-winded argument of gene therapy to stop cellular scenescense and consequently stop most of aging, but there are some people who actually don't want aging to stop or slow down."

Where did you get that quote? It leaves out what would happen under greater than one-gee conditions. More to the point--would carrying around additional weight slow down your rate of cell division and thus allow you to have a potentially longer life?

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#196 2008-02-03 14:26:39

cIclops
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

Where's that emoticon that's banging itself against a brick wall when you need it?

here it is: wallbash.gif


[color=darkred]Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget ![/color] [url=irc://freenode#space]  #space channel !! [/url] [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/c1cl0ps]   - videos !!![/url]

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#197 2008-02-03 18:18:32

Commodore
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

The gravity question will rapidly become irrelevant when you start asking questions like how big a simulated gravity transit craft would need to be, what size Bigelow-type module can be built to fit into the 10m by 30m faring on the Ares V, and how many of these Ares V launches we can do a year.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#198 2008-02-04 17:59:59

aftercolumbia
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

Aftercolumbia, regarding your quote:

Where did you get that quote? It leaves out what would happen under greater than one-gee conditions. More to the point--would carrying around additional weight slow down your rate of cell division and thus allow you to have a potentially longer life?

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … &start=181

second paragraph

I would expect that aging would accellerate under greater than one gee conditions...on the other hand, the exercise might be so good for you as to make up for that effect and lead to a longer life lol


Terry Wilson
After Columbia Project

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#199 2008-02-05 10:49:20

dicktice
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Posts: 1,764

Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

Okay--so if gravity can be simulated aboard ship sufficiently to avoid human muscle/bone deterioration on extended space missions, perhaps it's time to seriously consider the so-far intractable problem of radiation damage to our cells from eg. solar flares? A recent development in the U.K. may hold the answer to this (hopefully) last remaining impediment to our occupation of the entire Solar System. Here it is:

[Quote] British scientists are working to build an invisible magnetic "Ion Shield" to be used during missions in space. A minature solar wind has been created in an Oxfordshire laboratory to simulate the highly charged particles emitted from the Sun and a magnetic "bubble" is being conceived to surround future spaceships. The magnetic field should have sufficient deflecting strength to redirect cancer-causing energetic particles away from future astronauts. Useful, especially during the proposed long-haul flights to Mars should the Sun begin launching flares at the wrong time.
The protection of astronauts in space from being bathed in damaging solar radiation is paramount to mission planners. Preventing exposure to high-energy particles is essential for the short-term success of the mission, and for the long-term health of the astronaut. Generally, humans in Earth orbit are protected from the ravages of the solar wind as they are within the protective blanket surrounding our planet. The protection is supplied by Earth's magnetosphere, a powerful magnetic shield that deflects charged particles and channels them to the north and south poles, allowing life to thrive down here on the surface. The particles injected into the poles react with our atmosphere generating light, the Aurora.
So, the UK team are looking to create a small-scale "magnetosphere" of their own. If a spaceship can generate its own magnetic field, then perhaps the majority of solar particles can be deflected, creating a protective bubble the ship can travel in during solar storms. This may sound like science fiction, but the physics is sound, magnetic fields are used every day to deflect charged particles. Why not try to build a spaceship-sized magnetic particle deflector?
"We now have actual measurements that show a 'hole' in the solar wind could be created in which a spacecraft could sit, affording some protection from 'ion storms', as they would call them on Star Trek." - Dr Ruth Bamford, physicist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Chilton, Oxfordshire. [Unquote]

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#200 2008-02-05 16:46:27

JoshNH4H
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Re: Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them?

sounds like an m2p2.


-Josh

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