Re: Pygmies In Space

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sat Feb 17 2001 - 00:24:22 MST

> What you need to do is recruit pygmies, midgets, and dwarves for
> astronaut training and perhaps voluntary selective breeding.

Actually John, we discussed this about a year ago, but I have
enough new information to drop another post. I have been
lurking on a couple of chat groups for persons with growth
disorders, but have not yet gotten up the guts to post anything,
and I am not guaranteeing that I will ever do so. Dont know what
I would say:

   Hi! Im a six foot rocket scientist interested in recruiting a
   female from among you for a one way trip to Mars. How
   much do you weigh? How much do you eat? How much
   do you *really* like this planet?

I dont think so. But I have learned some possibly useful
information. As it turns out, humans do not scale linearly
with weight. If all of my dimensions were cut in half, my
height would be 3 ft, my surface area would be a quarter
its current value and my weight one eighth. So, 15 pounds,
rocket scientist's dream, lets fly.

But as we said, humans do not scale linearly down. Verne Troyer,
the actor that played MiniMe in Austin Powers, is 2 ft 8 inches
but weighs almost 70 pounds. I may tell later how I found this
out, but the fact is, for a Mars mission, this may not matter
very much. It matters little what one weighs, but it matters
greatly how much one eats, for this is a weight penalty that
must be paid over and over.

More on that later. Regarding pygmies, it is much more
difficult to find info on this than on dwarfism, for there are
very few pygmies online and no chat groups for pygmies
that I have been able to find. I do not consider pygmies
ideal candidates for Mars missions for altho they tend to
be much smaller than most humans, there are language
barriers. The !xhosa language has not been fully or
universally encoded into written form, and we are a
long way from having machines that could recognize
and translate it. Some insight into pygmies may be gained
from viewing the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy" which
starred a pygmy actor whose dimensions were about 5
ft and approximately 90 pounds.

> Also--you have to feed and air-supply

Air supply is not such a pressing problem, as oxygen can be
regenerated from carbon dioxide, given sufficient energy.
Water too can be recycled, given an energy supply.
Of course, the energy needed is proportional to the size of
the crew. The feed problem: also proportional to the crew

Before my next post in a week or so, be thinking this over:
What aspects of the mission scale linearly with the crew size?
What aspects scale as the square? What scales as the cube?
I may prepare a full paper on this topic for the engineering
society to which I belong, the Society of Aerospace Weight
Engineers. spike

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