In the quest for space exploration and habitation on celestial bodies like the moon and Mars, various challenges threaten the well-being of human bodies. While space tourism and ambitious plans for space hotels emerge, understanding the impact of space conditions on the human body becomes crucial. Beyond the immediate threat of hypoxia in the absence of a spacesuit, two major challenges persist: variable gravity and radiation.
Gravity, a force determined by mass and distance, varies on the moon and Mars, affecting bodily functions. The gravitational pull is weaker on these celestial bodies compared to Earth. Additionally, radiation exposure increases in space, with diminished protection outside Earth’s magnetic field. This exposure raises concerns about the health effects of cosmic radiation on astronauts.
Current knowledge about these challenges is primarily based on astronauts’ experiences in low Earth orbit, and limited data are available due to the small sample size. To address this, space tourism is seen as an opportunity to gather broader demographic data beyond the traditionally selected astronauts. This diversity in participants could provide valuable insights into how various individuals, including those with pre-existing conditions, adapt to space environments.
Microgravity, a condition experienced in space, affects bodily functions such as blood circulation, bone density, and muscle mass. Prolonged exposure leads to atrophy and other physiological changes, making the return to Earth challenging and painful. While potential solutions like artificial gravity are proposed, current priorities in space tourism focus more on comfort and entertainment than addressing these health challenges.
Beyond physiological effects, the psychological aspects of space travel, including intimacy and sexuality, pose unique challenges. The potential for space tourists engaging in sexual activity raises questions about the lack of guidelines and the need for responsible conduct in space. Furthermore, the psychological impact of isolation and loneliness during long missions needs thorough exploration.
As humanity contemplates the possibility of colonization on other planets, the question arises: Can our bodies adapt to non-Earth environments, or will we always be fundamentally Earthlings? The journey into space, marked by exploration, experimentation, and the unknown, continues to unfold with both promises and challenges.
Please consider reading the long but very interesting reference article here.
IMPORTANT UFS COMMUNICATIONS
- Joint Chief MSR – Reporting Period October 2023
- PCS Orders – Joint Chief UF Starfleet Communications
- Your Delta Communicator – Fall 2023 – Star Trek Day Edition
The United Federation Starfleet Blog is written by Fleet Captain Hal Jordan and is published every Friday. Join in the discussion! Engage with us on Discord at: discord.io/ufstarfleet