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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Some bad news for possible space travel

   
Author Topic: Some bad news for possible space travel
AchillesHeel
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So it seems that astronauts have been having some eye problems after from returning from up to 108 days in microgravity. To my understanding, the lack of gravity has a powerful effect on blood flow and increases inter-cranial pressure that pushes the eyes in a way that does not happen while gravity is forcing blood down and out of the head. Some astronauts with existing eye problems have had improved vision while MRI's have proven a loss of vision in the others. Russian and Chinese space programs are going to share their findings as we attempt to learn whether or not we can survive taking to the stars.

Article in question.

I remember a while back we were talking about the viability of long-term human space travel, and this certainly does not bode well for our supposed colonization of the universe.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I am not the most knowledgable on the topic, but it doesn't seem insurmountable. Centerfugal forces, artificial gravity through thrust, suspended animation or ftl where the journey is not that long are all possible solutions...in sci-fi...at least.
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AchillesHeel
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If we're talking about scifi, it seems easier to just dig up the stargate.
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rivka
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Giza or Antarctica?
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Xavier
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Is there any practical limitation of a spinning vessel (like Lovelock or Rama) to give the illusion of gravity?

While its true that they are science fiction, it seems like the concepts are grounded in reality. When talking of the viability of "colonizing the universe", you need to at least dip your toe into science fiction.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
Is there any practical limitation of a spinning vessel (like Lovelock or Rama) to give the illusion of gravity?

Yes. They need to be at least a minimum size, or you get too much gravitational differential between different parts of the ship, and you have to spin too fast. For something shuttle-sized, spinning is completely impractical.
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Giza or Antarctica?

Giza, I am not very confident about unearthing the other without Daniel Jackson to supervise.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Giza or Antarctica?

Antarctica. As an historian, I like to go back to the original.
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rivka
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You both make excellent points. But as I'm currently watching Lost City, I'll have to cast my vote with Antarctica.
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BlueWizard
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The flaw in space travel in not the presents or absents of gravity. It is, rather, the availability of very limited resources.

Take a look at the Starship Enterprise, or anything from Star Wars, and note the absolute mammoth size of it. Where do you suppose the metal is going to come from for all those starships?

There are/were very large iron mines in Minnesota, when they were discovered, people said the iron would never run out. The fact is the high grade ore was depleted by World War II. The mines are now all but shut down.

So, where on earth do you imagine the material to produce a single starship will come from, not to mention a whole fleet of starships? There isn't even remotely enough material here on earth to accomplish such a feat.

Starships are a nice dream, one that I enjoy, but they are virtually physically impossible unless an iron rich asteroid suddenly decides to fall into earth orbit. Even then, the number of starships is limited, the energy requirements are astronomical, the pollution intolerable, and the propulsion systems and life support are non-existent.

The only starship we have is Starship Earth, and we are bend on the absolute wasting and destruction of it.

Sorry to be a downer.

Steve/bluewizard

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Darth_Mauve
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The Asteroids are mostly Iron ore.
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Darth_Mauve
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The Asteroids are mostly Iron ore.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Not -on- earth Steve, but from asteroid belt.
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Scott R
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I'm fine with polluting space, by the way.

In fact, I dub Jupiter the Trash Planet.

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Jeff C.
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This isn't the biggest news, really. We always knew human beings couldn't sustain long-term space travel due to the effects of gravity on the body, so it doesn't make much of a difference. In the end, we'll have to develop some kind of artificial gravity if we ever want to make it farther than our solar system.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
This isn't the biggest news, really. We always knew human beings couldn't sustain long-term space travel due to the effects of gravity on the body, so it doesn't make much of a difference. In the end, we'll have to develop some kind of artificial gravity if we ever want to make it farther than our solar system.

Gravity effects aren't even the first order problem. Gamma rays would kill us before we ever even made a two year journey to Mars

This is sort of exactly the example I needed in the other thread: an engineering problem, not an absolute limitation.

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Sean Monahan
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I'm reminded of Arthur C. Clarke's story "Out of the Cradle", and I wonder - would these eye problems, or any other physical problems due to long-term exposure to micro-gravity, be a problem for people who were born and raised in microgravity?
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AchillesHeel
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Last I remember mammal fertilization has been proven impossible in zero gravity, if gravity is such a simple part of our creation I doubt any good would come from fertilizing a woman before she travels out of our atmosphere (and somehow does not have a stress induced labor in doing so) only to try and raise a child in zero-g. We need gravity, full on gravity or we are never leaving.
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Sa'eed
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I don't believe we'll ever get to colonize other planets or make meaningful space travel. The distances involved are forbidding, the resources required beyond's Earth's capacity to provide, and the technological requirements nonexistent. Just look at how cumbersome, hard and dangerous it continues to be to get people into orbit. And I think there are no doubt in this universe perhaps billions of planets that can sustain human life. Good luck getting there though. It's the cruelest thing!
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AchillesHeel
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I certainly agree Sa'eed, but there are a sizable amount of people far more intelligent than myself who seem intent on putting humans on Mars. I can't justify the obsession but there were certainly many skeptics about whether or not we could put a man on the moon.
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jebus202
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Or whether or not we did put a man on the moon... dun dun DUN
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