Astronauts traveling to Mars or other distant destinations will face all kinds of medical problems, but rocket science isn’t surgery. And vice versa. A new augmented reality system could help astronauts take care of each other, overlaying computer graphics over a real patient to guide diagnoses or even surgery. It could even improve telemedicine in developing countries or remote spots.
An increasingly pale six-member crew on a fake mission to Mars has just reached a new landmark: 438 days in isolation. The streak beats the record held by someone who actually spent that time in space, former Mir space station resident Valeri Polyakov.
SpaceX will send humans to Mars within 10 to 20 years, according to an interview with its CEO in the Wall Street Journal. Elon Musk says his company will send people to space within three years, and he wants to colonize other planets next.
“I want SpaceX to help make life multi-planetary,” he said. “We’re going all the way to Mars, I think. Best case, 10 years, worst case, 15 to 20 years.”
Here’s some futurey Valentine’s Day news: Future space colonists would likely be unable to procreate because of the ionizing radiation that permeates the solar system, according to a paper by NASA researchers.
The Journal of Cosmology recently published a special issue concerning the requisites for and perils inherent in a manned mission to Mars, which appropriately touched upon that taboo topic that NASA never talks about: sex in space. But while it might seem like a natural inevitability, sex in space might not be such a great idea, at least from a reproductive aspect.
If NASA ever gets a clear directive for interplanetary exploration, a new Hundred-Year Starship could be their version of the Mayflower. And like the first pilgrims, Martian explorers might set sail with the knowledge they would never return home.
If we ever decide to colonize Mars, it might be fairly simple to grow crops in that red soil, according to a new study. Mars’ reduced gravity could let us use less water and fertilizer than we do on Earth.
Not since RoboCop has being a cyborg seemed so very cool. University of Chicago geoscientists are developing an artificial intelligence system that future Mars explorers could incorporate into their spacesuits to help them recognize signs of life on Mars' barren surface.
The recent anniversary of Apollo 11 has sparked a revived call for manned exploration of Mars. And many have responded to that call by listing the vast technical challenges that such a journey would entail. However, some have worried that the psychological challenge of sending men to the red planet far outweighs any engineering issue.
To test the psychological effect of such a trip, the European Space agency set up simulated Mars missions where six "astronauts" were locked in a tube for months on end. The volunteers for the initial, 105-day, test have just emerged from their titanium chrysalis, and it seems like it wasn't a day to soon.
A reader inquires: “Why can’t we put people into some sort of cryogenic sleep and launch them to Mars—or to an even more distant destination, like Alpha Centauri?”
By Elizabeth Svoboda
Posted 08.04.2004 at 7:00 pm 0 Comments
Setting aside very real concerns such as our lack of a spacecraft with suitable size and power to launch astronauts to Mars—much less the outer planets or other stars—suspended animation lingers more in the realm of sci-fi than reality. Yet the concept remains attractive, especially for longer journeys, because astronauts in a Rip Van Winkleâ€like stupor might be protected from the serious health hazards associated with distant space travel, and they wouldn’t need food—or entertainment.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.