Mars mission - problems of zero G

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Mars mission - problems of zero G

Postby Brightonian » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:50 am

So the "Mars crew" have survived 18 months' isolation without descending into psychosis or even major personality conflicts - unlike some previous experiments which ended up with sexual harassment and violent fist-fights.

One thing they couldn't simulate however is the physiological effect of permanent weightlessness over a sustained period. I believe previous studies have shown this can lead to major loss of bone and muscle tissue. What could be done to counteract these effects in a "live" mission?
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Re: Mars mission - problems of zero G

Postby admin » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:35 am

The astronauts will need a centrifuge to simulate gravity. See astronaut Poole in 2001 -- A Space Odyssey, for example.
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Re: Mars mission - problems of zero G

Postby slaven41 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:41 am

Well, in Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, the ship consists of tori that rotate to simulate Mars gravity. Of course, this is a very large ship since it's taking an entire colony to Mars.

In Robert Zubrin's The Case for Mars, I think he advocates having a ship that separates into two parts: one for living quarters and one for propulsion, equipment, etc. The two sections are connected by a tether and the whole thing is rotated around the center of mass of the system.
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Re: Mars mission - problems of zero G

Postby admin » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:39 am

No zero g, but an interesting psychological study: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MARS-500.
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Re: Mars mission - problems of zero G

Postby Brightonian » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:27 am

An interesting precedent is Shackleton's Antarctic expedition of 1914-16: his crew went 500 days without standing on dry land and at times seemed at risk of being permanently trapped on the ice. Unlike the "Mars crew" they didn't have any way of communicating with "mission control".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/04/my-hero-ernest-shackleton
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Re: Mars mission - problems of zero G

Postby slaven41 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:38 pm

I've read South by Shackleton, and you're right about it being interesting. It's an amazing tale of survival, and their condition didn't really improve that much when they did hit dry land.
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