As work on the ISS and the moon will help in training people to fly to Mars

Space Agency NASA put all the efforts to return humans to the moon in 2024. At the same time, researchcontinued aboard the International space station (ISS), could serve as an excellent basis for more distant manned missions to Mars, according to experts speaking at the annual Humans to Mars summit held last week in Washington.

A group of researchers from space agencies, private space companies and other related organizations from around the world discussed and shared their opinions about how best to prepare for sending humans to the Red planet. Their short abstracts along with a description of those scientific and technological areas that are being developed now leads portal

Experts point out that the missions to Mars will be associated with additional risks compared with flights to the moon. For example, people on Mars will have to spend a long amount of time in an environment that may contain Martian microbes.

Crews working on the ISS, has significantly helped NASA to reduce some of the risks associated with the future of sending humans to Mars, said Julie Robertson, chief scientific officer of the Space center Lyndon B. Johnson in Houston, responsible for scientific research programs on the space station. For example, working for the past 20 years in earth orbit the International space station a good part of that time was devoted to research aimed at understanding the effects of microgravity on the human body and the consequences that these impacts over a bear. For example, the scientists found that a long stay in space could seriously weaken the bone and muscle structure, change the circulation of fluids in the body, and lead to maladjustment (read: violation) of the cardiovascular system. But the work in Martian conditions will be quite different from working on the ISS or the moon.

“If you evaluate all the risks associated with the work on the ISS and the moon, it work on Mars will be the most dangerous,” says Robertson.

At the same time, the academic adds that landing on a satellite of the Earth, as well as work on the ISS, which takes place in the microgravity environment can provide invaluable data for the development of more distant space. Observing how people adapt to lunar gravity, which is only 1/6 of the earth, will provide us with information about how best to prepare for work on the surface of a more distant neighbor of the Earth, whose gravity is about 38 percent of earth’s.

The problem for us may be Martian life

Still a big mystery to scientists is the possibility of the presence of life on Mars, said Lisa Pratt, of the Department of planetary protection at NASA. The task of this Department is to research and study ways to reduce the risk of contamination of other worlds with terrestrial microbes that can arrive at the same Mars, along with sent research equipment, as well as in the prevention of migration of Martian microbes on our planet. This, as noted by an academic, can occur in the framework of future missions aimed at sampling and return to Earth of various samples of Martian Geology.

Now the mission to return soil samples from planets such as Mars is pure science fiction, but that fiction “has become much closer to reality,” says Pratt. NASA plans to hold its first such mission is already in 2026. Therefore, the Agency is only about 6 years to develop corresponding technologies. Moreover, the beginning of this mission will be in 2020, when Mars will leave new Mars Rover. His task will be to collect samples marlinskogo soil and storing them in special capsules that will need to take during the mission, scheduled for 2026.

According to Pratt, until we can figure out for sure whether there is life on Mars, because we don’t know what is under the surface.

“There are assumptions about the existence under the surface of the planet warm the steam tunnels and saline groundwater, but we’re not quite sure yet,” — said the scientist.

The researchers note that some bacteria can exist in very salty conditions. In addition, the salt lowers the freezing temperature of water, allowing her to stay longer in the liquid state, which in the future can also increase the chances of life beneath the surface of the red planet.

Pratt has allocated a topic on the discussion of the risks of contamination of the Martian environment, terrestrial microbes.

“Despite ongoing research, we don’t know who’ll be able to get,” said Pratt, pointing to the ability of some microorganisms to survive space travel.

“We know little about those bacteria that can not only penetrate into the sterile Assembly shop spacecraft, but also to survive during the launch and flight to Mars,” added the scientist.

Despite the harsh conditions of flight between Earth and Mars, high radiation, lack of oxygen and low temperatures is not yet clear whether all microogranism caught “stowaways” aboard the Martian ship will not survive, adds Pratt.

On Earth

Despite the fact that the space conditions are the most appropriate analogue environment to study the behavior of the human body in response to long missions to Mars, ongoing research on the Ground also make an important contribution to the understanding of the risks which will have to face the future Martian crew.

Cosmic radiation, Microbiology, waste, and human health and its efficiency in space – these are the four areas in which it operates the German centre of aviation and cosmonautics, said Ruth Hemmersbach, head of Department of gravitational biology, and Deputy Director of the Institute of aerospace medicine of the DLR Agency.

“I believe that experiments should be carried out not only in space. It is necessary to examine the issues in microgravity and in earth,” — said the expert.

For example, one of the most important research now being conducted on a unique test installation Envihab, German set in the center of the space. With it, scientists are conducting so-called “bed study,” in which the participants need to be in a recumbent position for months. Thus scientists want to understand how it will affect the health of the people. In such a controlled environment it is easy to change the desired parliaments of the experiment and to observe how people react. One of the researchers interested in questions related to how such conditions can affect people’s vision, which, as shown by the work on the ISS, can really change not for the better.

Nowadays, space crews are composed mainly of very healthy people who, of course, may not represent the whole of the people, said Daniel Buckland from Duke University, dealing with emergency medical care and engineering mechanics. He urged the space Agency to explore the possibility of participating in space missions, people with average health.

“It will be a complete disappointment if our best botanist or geologist will not be able to go to Mars just because they have, for example, discovered diabetes. The current model of space medicine involves the selection of only the healthy people for space missions. This is wrong. This limits the range of people who can fly and do make an invaluable contribution to ongoing experiments on the surface,” commented Buckland.

According to Saralyn mark, endocrinologist, anesthetist, and women’s health specialist, who previously worked as a senior medical consultant to NASA, it is now conducted more research in the field of occupational health based on floors. Part of this research aims to understand how the genders react to stressful situations while in space. Currently mark is the head of the iGIANT non-profit organization, which is engaged in including issues of sexual and gender approaches in programs of space research.

She noted that the challenge is not to “make a battle of the sexes” in the space of health, but to focus on identifying specific health problems and their solutions in men and women (mostly the work is related to socio-psychological aspects, but also under the direction and biological nature). For example, experts say, men more often than women experience problems with your vision from a long stay in space conditions. This can be explained by the fact that the age of the male astronauts is usually higher than in women, and also the fact that the female sex hormone estrogen can better protect the health of the eyes than the male hormone testosterone.

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