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Future Outposts Beyond LEO Require R&D Now

29 Sep 2009, 00:57 UTC
Future Outposts Beyond LEO Require R&D Now
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Dr. Joan Vernikos, the former Director of NASA's Life Sciences Division is our first "Guest" Author-Analyst. Her books "The G-Connection" and "Stress Fitness for Seniors" provide knowledge gained and useful applications from space medicine to our lives on Earth. Links to these books, one of her NASA patents for a "human-powered artificial-gravity centrifuge", plus a bio are provided on her web site. She continues to be a strong advocate for promoting valuable collaborations between NASA and space commerce entities to develop innovations and products that benefit all.

The Space Age is still emerging. Many will take exception to this statement, but in terms of human space exploration I believe it’s true. We have much to do before we can practically design, develop and ethically attempt to implement human outposts beyond Earth. The recent 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar landing reminds us that, because of the extraordinary confluence of events driven largely by the Soviet Sputnik launch, exploration by astronauts became national policy. However, Apollo’s roughly 10 day round-trip missions with brief 1-3 day periods on the Lunar surface, at low-gravity and high cosmic radiation exposure, provided little motivation to better understand the human response to this unusual ...

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