From: "zeb haradon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Everyone here knows that the biggest problem for long term space
>travel, at least in our current biological state, is that the body
>begins to undergo a type of "space rot" in zero gravity, the
>muscles atrophy, the bones weaken, etc. This is most frequently
>mentioned as a serious barrier to a manned mission to Mars. On the
>ISS, astronauts will get two hours of excercise today. On Mir, and
>any shuttle mission, physical excercise is always practiced, and
>the astronauts are still phased when they return to Earth.
>These are missions of less then a year - missions in
>weightlessness lasting decades would probably kill us upon
>returning to a gravity environment. There needs to be some way to
>have the muscles in constant excercise, as they are here on Earth
>resisting gravity. Someone mentioned the idea of tethers, and
>correctly added that they will clutter up the craft.
The "Mars Direct" mission as envisioned by the Mars Society's Dr
Robert Zubrin would use a single tether between the capsule and the
spent upper stage to achieve the 1/3rd Mars equivalent for the
duration of the trip, this does not seem to involve clutter.
Most of the information we have on long duration effects comes from
the Russians and Mir. Yet when Dr Shannon Lucid flew on Mir-21 she
suffered no ill effects, she walked off the shuttle, and was
running all over the next day.
What we learned was that the cosmonauts on Mir were slacking in the
performance of the exercise protocol, and we have a least one good
data point to show low gravity effects can be successfully
countered. The ISS will no doubt offer additional data points.
Extropy Institute, www.extropy.org
Adler Planetarium www.adlerplanetarium.org
Life Extension Foundation, www.lef.org
National Rifle Association, www.nra.org, 1.800.672.3888
Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W
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