DailyDirt: Who Wants To Be An Astronaut?
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Not too long ago, becoming an astronaut was an amazing achievement that only a very few, rigorously selected and intensely trained pilots could ever hope to attain. But nowadays, while it’s not exactly commonplace to be a space traveler, if you have enough disposable income, you could pay the Russian Space Agency for a ride or line up to buy a ticket on a commercial flight (to the “edge” of space). Over 500 people have been in space (from 36 different countries), and plenty more people will follow them. Here are just a few things you might want to know about space travel before you plan your next trip.
- South Korea started its astronaut program in 2006, and Yi So-yeon became the first Korean woman to go into space on a Soyuz mission in 2008. South Korea spent about $28 million to get Yi up to the International Space Station, and she recently retired as an astronaut. Her retirement raises some questions about whether the trip was a worthwhile venture, but then again, some folks have been asking what the point of going to space is for decades. [url]
- A manned trip to Mars would take months, and it won’t be easy to keep people happy and safe in small living quarters for that long. If astronauts could hibernate on the way, it might make the journey more tolerable. Bears can hibernate for months, but people have only been in a medically-induced hypothermic torpor for about 10 days. [url]
- Astronauts have noticed a “Charlie Brown” effect due to microgravity that makes their faces swell because fluids tend to accumulate in the head in space. The result is like having congestion, and it apparently affects the sense of smell (and taste), leading to curious cravings for spicy foods. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.