August 22, 2005

What's Missing Here?

I read this and especially this part:

"Researchers continue to look for new ways to counteract the physical changes associated with long-term space flight whether through diet, exercise, medication or a combination of strategies."

What's missing from that list? How about, say, engineering? Why don't any of these studies ever look at testing a centrifugal/centripetal force method of creating quasi-gravity?

2001WheelStation.jpgIt's not like the concept is a new one. After all, Wernher von Braun had already dreamed of the "wheel" space station so poetically realized in 2001: A Space Odyssey as early as the 1950s.

I'm surprised there haven't been any tests of the concept yet. It seems like it would have been pretty simple to already have built a rat-scale ring that would have fit in a shuttle bay (or one of the station modules) to see how the forces would have affected the rats. Is there a certain minimum diameter needed to prevent disorienting coriolis effects?

Does anyone know of any tests along these lines? It seems a lot easier than trying to change human biology with medications.

Posted by JohnL at August 22, 2005 11:00 PM | TrackBack
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