After promising the world that India would become a space power by 2015, it looks as if the world’s largest democracy is now scheduling its first human encounter with the stars by 2017.
India has aspirations to establish a lunar colony in the future as well, and has even proposed teaming up with Japan as well as Russia to help achieve their space goals.
Hopefully the land of a billion people will be able to to meet its timeline within seven years, as any further delay could result in India ceding dominance to China (who currently reigns as the space king in the east).
One of the biggest hurdles preventing humanity from settling the final frontier is micro gravity.
While it may be fun to float in the air like jelly fish floats in water, micro gravity can wreck serious damage upon our bodies, turning strong bones into brittle skeletons.
Fortunately it looks as if the boys and girls at NASA may have found a solution to our woes via a fatty acid by the name of Omega-3.
(NASA) NASA-sponsored studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may play a role in mitigating bone breakdown that occurs during spaceflight and in osteoporosis. Ongoing research for decades has looked for ways to stop bone density loss in astronauts. […]
In a series of cell-based studies, scientists documented that adding a specific omega-3 fatty acid to cells would inhibit the activation of factors that lead to bone breakdown. This was true in both typical cell cultures and those designed to mimic weightlessness. The inhibited factor is known as “nuclear factor kappa B” or NFκB. NFκB is involved in immune system behavior and the inflammation process. The activation of NFκB in different tissues can lead to bone and muscle loss.
Combined with medical drugs (which will help keep our muscles strong), humanity may finally be able to dwell among the heavens above without fear of their bodies deteriorating in deep space.
While this probably means that sea food, will become apart of the future diet (especially for water rich worlds like the Moon, Mars and Callisto), this revelation may also help make living off world a little bit easier (if not tastier as well).
Unless you are fortunate enough to live on a water abundant world (like Earth, the red planet, and yes, even the Moon), future space travelers are going to have to recycle every drop of water that exits their body (regardless of origin).
Since bacteria have a tendency to thrive in micro gravity, astronauts will need to find a way to kill off these microscopic creatures before they kill us off via recycled sweat and other bodily fluids (especially since our immune system becomes weaker in zero-G).
Fortunately for us a company may have a quick solution that is not only effective but inexpensive as well.
(Homedics, note: PDF file) UVC [ultraviolet C] light, with wavelengths between 100 and 280 nm, is commonly referred to as “germicidal light” due to its effectiveness in destroying microorganisms. UVC light acts as a natural outdoor air purification system by deactivating the DNA of microorganisms and destroying their ability to multiply. […]
Utilizing the germ-killing benefits of UVC light, HoMedics, the leader in health and wellness products, developed Restore®, a complete water purification system in an easy to use pitcher. Restore combines UV Clean technology to remove bacteria, viruses and microbial cysts with a filtration system to reduce heavy metals, chlorine (taste and odor), and some industrial and agricultural pollutants.
Although this technology could also be used for off world settlers (who may have to drink recycled water until they can melt enough space ice), this technology would also benefit residents of orbital space stations around Earth, Venus or even a gas giant.
It could also help reduce the overall cost of filtering space water, allowing corporations and governments alike to invest money into other area’s (like propulsion or food).
With future plans of launching a space station and sending Taikonauts (aka Chinese astronauts) to the Moon, China is going to need a lot of space pioneers–provided they are hitched to a spouse.
(Space.com) Earlier this year, Chinese space officials said that one requirement for China’s first female astronauts was that they were married, a requirement that is also upheld for China’s male astronaut candidates.
Excluding the single masses from participating in the final frontier may sound like an odd rule, especially when you consider the fact that there are numerous single males in China on the prowl (which is of itself a major issue).
However by requiring Taikonauts to be married, China could be planning on moving families off world in the not so distant future (a strategy that may help them establish a permanent presence on both the Moon and Mars).
Note: To my knowledge neither NASA or Russia require their astronauts and cosmonauts to marry, respectively, although the Chinese are insisting that married astronauts are better than bachelors (at least psychologically).
Sorry about the lack of posts over the last few weeks. Apparently this site has become a favorite target of human spammers (I guess they were upset after I found a way to block their bots), plus I was busy posting upon other blogs I write for.
I have been staying updated on the space front, and while I am not too pleased with America’s new direction, I am still hopeful thanks in part to the private sector (mainly SpaceX and Bigelow).