I was going to be smug but ElReg has beaten me to it :(
Prolonged periods in space increases brain mass by as much as 6 per cent, according to a new study, but that's not good news. Boffins checking NASA astronauts noted the increase in their brain's white matter – the bundles of nerves that make up the inner workings of the human mind. It seems that living in constant freefall …
>>>In space, the lack of gravity pushes the fluid towards the top of the head<<<
Due to our body having evolved in 1G (to keep fluids where they should be) and now able to provide way more fluid pressure than is needed, (hang upside down for 5 mins and take a selfie for a quick demo). Long term changes will be due to the human body slowly changing to fit the new zero-G environment like the reduced muscle & bone density they all suffer from after long term space flight.
If the additional white matter can't be reduced naturally on returning to 1G then this could be the first indication we have for a real limiting factor on low-g flight duration (does it happen with long term 0.5G?, is the effect linear between 0G & 1G?).
In the long term, spaceship designs could be fundamentally affected, the trip to Mars could literally be a one way deal.
Science fiction told us the way. Willy Ley described it. Chesley Bonestell illustrated it. And Stanley Kubrick brought it to life. For this particular problem, rotation is the key in space. We don't yet know whether the Moon or Mars has sufficient gravity to counteract this effect.
The spanner enters works when someone decides to make it a race.
You can have things faster, cheaper, or right. Pick one and only one.
Or rotating stations... no need for sci-fi.
I was hoping someone would remember those. For "reasons" the space boffins seemed to have abandoned that idea. Though I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years/decades some boffins says "let's try this big spinning station".
He's wrong though. Rotating stations are SciFi. At least until someone builds one. The only real difference is that we know they are possible. It just takes, will, money and a need. But until one is built, it's still fiction. But believe me, I'd love to see one up there. We've got rockets landing vertically now. We've nearly reached the pinnacle of 1950;s SciFi!
Rotating space stations may well be doable as stations but far less practicable as spacecraft. To make them function well, size is everything and the energy to get a space station sized craft moving, braking and manoeuvring is not trivial and would put some interesting stresses on the structure. Have a look at Real Engineering on YT. Can we make artificial gravity.
It could be worse than that with Mars travellers being incapacitated for weeks after landing on Mars. Assuming they have somewhere to live built by robots sent previously of course. Though they might need robots to carry the 'nauts from the lander into the habs as well. Better send a neuroscientist and an optician along as well.
BTW you know the deep, long nasal breathing thing we do during sleep? Turns out that induces the CSF to flow back down to the spinal cord where it drains into the lymph carrying metabolites with it. Which is part of why sleep is so important. It enables the brain to take out the rubbish. No or not enough sleep and the rubbish affects function.
and there was me thinking of Tefal man...
This is quite amusing...Ms Vorderman, a young-ish Kelly Brook and Harry Enfield in a quirky Tefal advert....
and one for Tefal steam irons - watch out for the tea lady who's a chess grandmaster !!
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