The Space Architect's Diary #001
Staying Healthy in Space
Last week, Sep 29, 2021, I attended the “𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘆 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗦𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗲” Conference, and below are some of my key takeaways and thoughts:
- Total 562 have been to space, of which 244 have been to the ISS, 24 left LEO, and 12 walked on the moon.
- Of the 562, 65 were women, 38 have been to the ISS, and 0 left LEO.
- Even within this minuscule data collected for the studies done so far, there is a significant gender and race misrepresentation.
- All Astronauts are chosen with above-average health and physical abilities.
- Maintaining privacy and anonymity of the astronauts, civilians, or professionals who volunteer to be studied and monitored while on space missions.
- We are far from ready to have human crewed space trips to Mars.
- Cosmic rays and SPEs(Solar Particle Events) are the most dangerous radiation exposure events that astronauts will face on a long trip to Mars. When cosmic rays pass through Aluminum (Industry Favorit for spaceship shell), they cause the formation of Neutrinos that bounce around in the ship cause more damage to the crew’s health and equipment.
- SpaceX is still testing its Spaceship launch and landing, hull configuration, and design. They have not yet done a low orbit test flight. What will they do to protect their astronauts on medium and long-term trips? Will they use water in the outer shell to safeguard the astronauts or/and build a radiation core vault in the center of the ship?
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆:
Events during a space mission that are detrimental to human health:
- Launch and landing. The rapid changes in Gs in a very short time frame (1G Surface, 3G during launch, and 0G in LEO) could have harsh effects on the human body like increased body fluid pressure, which affects the eyes and brain, and could cause tissue damage.
- Cruising in orbit or on a trajectory to a destination. Until replicating the earth’s gravity field in space is possible, the crew would probably suffer muscle atrophy, negative calcium balance density, body fluid shift, cardiovascular deconditioning, problems in eyesight, even changes in the DNA, etc.
- Missions in reduced earth gravity like the Moon and Mars. We do not have any Data on how a short and long-term moon or Mars Mission will affect the astronauts’ health and performance.
𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗔𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘀:
Human-centered design challenges to maintain the astronauts’ health during medium- and long-term space missions:
- Closed-loop Life support systems (LSS) and the influence on the habitable parts of the spaceship.
- Maintaining a supply of medical resources, equipment, and medication
- Medical crisis management and mitigation