Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Martian author Andy Weir calls for massive new space station to prep humans for Mars trip | Network World

The Martian author Andy Weir calls for massive new space station to prep humans for Mars trip

"Until we figure out how to handle the effects of living on zero gravity for long periods of time, the idea of living in such a world is out of the question. Astronauts who spend months in zero-g suffer bone loss and muscle degradation. Once they return to earth, they have to be carried out of their capsule by ground crew. It takes days, sometimes weeks for them to re-adapt to gravity because their muscles are simply too weak to stand. Imagine, then, a crew of astronauts setting foot on the surface of Mars after eight months in space to get there. They would be unable to move, let alone execute their mission,” Weir said. “Weightlessness also causes degradation of the eyes. And, unlike the bone and muscle loss, which the body will repair once it returns to gravity, the eye damage is permanent and irreversible."

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