Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Space, It's Not For Cowards Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Image: From Aliens the movie, Credit:

When one often thinks of space, images of lunar and Martian colonies come to mind, often with people (and children) floating around in micro gravity, glimpsing the heavens in a new light that would make even Galileo envious.

But when it comes to realities of living in the cosmos, we must realize that space, like any frontier, has its blessings as well as its dangers.

( "Solar soil is extremely complex. There is nothing like it on Earth," said Logan, citing suspicious "hay fever" reactions by two Apollo astronauts.

Moonwalking astronauts, meanwhile, would face especially high radiation risks if solar flares erupted -- underscoring an urgent need for accurate forecasts of "space weather," Logan said. [...]

The biggest threat may be the moon's gravity, one-sixth that of Earth. Despite nearly a half-century of human space travel, Logan said, nobody really knows how much gravity is needed to maintain health over time. Bone density decreases with weightlessness and does not always fully rebound when astronauts return home, he said. The heart gets lazy, too. Low gravity is likely to affect neural development of babies conceived on the moon, he added.

While most of humanity may settle for visiting the heavens above us, very few (perhaps ten million at most) would be willing to forsake their home world in order to colonize others.

It is inevitable that in our quest to inhabit other moons, planets and asteroids that casualties will occur along the way, with people suffering unimaginable pains from simply living in dangerous environments.

Space is not for cowards, and was never meant to be and if one ever desires to conquer the final frontier, they will have to choose to make it their final destination.

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  1. The gravity problems mean that the majority of colonies in space will not be on planets, but artificial gravity space stations. Whether living on Mars or whatever is glamorous or not, practical will always win out in the end.

    But is it really that hard to imagine reengineering our bodies to make them stronger? The way you write makes it sound like you've never heard of gene therapy or transhumanism. If we have the technology to move millions to other planets, then we will also have the technology to artificially induce bone and muscle growth, and protect ourselves effectively from solar radiation.

  2. Hey Michael,

    Thanks for commenting. Although I have heard about "gene therapy" (and a little about transhumanism) I doubt that either of these will be available in the next century (if not greater).

    Drugs often have side affects, and if a "miracle drug" comes out, it will have to be thoroughly tested in order to insure safety.

    The closest "helpful drug" that I can find is the anti-radiation drug although to my knowledge no drug exists that could effectively counteract our bones and muscles from atrophy.

    If something comes up, let me know, but until then I'll remain the "hopeful skeptic" in the medial arena.


You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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