DailyDirt: Going To Space
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Manned space exploration is a lofty goal that requires quite a bit of groundwork before people crawl into a metal cage strapped to a rocket. Only about a dozen countries have successfully launched objects into orbit, and the list of nations that can send people into space is much shorter (with the retirement of the space shuttles, the US arguably is not on the list anymore). But rocket technologies are only getting better and less expensive, and there are more and more plans (both governmental and commercial) for humans to explore space.
- Mars One is now looking for people willing to become astronauts, train for 8 years, and go on a ONE-WAY trip to Mars (and also be part of this globally-televised mission). The first team to go will be democratically elected from six teams of four astronauts, and the launch is scheduled for September 2022. [url]
- Iran is planning to launch a monkey into space sometime in February 2013. Iran has a goal of sending a human into space by 2020 and putting someone on the moon by 2025. (And Iran has already sent a rat, two turtles and a worm into space.) [url]
- MRI scans of astronauts who spent over a month in space show that long term exposure to microgravity can damage eyeballs and parts of the brain. The problems are similar to having intracranial hypertension -- where the brain experiences pressures that press it against the skull and eye sockets. [url]
- A simulated 520-day mission to Mars found that astronauts may need to keep Earth-like schedules or else they'll have trouble sleeping and possibly acquire some mood disorders. This ground-based study will affect plans for manned Mars missions, and it could also have implications for people who live with disrupted sleep and prolonged exposure to artificial lighting. [url]