Space Medicine and Astrobiology
The environment in space is characterized by the absence of a life-supporting, life-protecting, and flight-supporting atmosphere.
To travel through such a vacuum environment requires a sealed cabin, a synthetic little earth with an artificial atmosphere, surrounded by a hull having life-protecting capabilities with regard to radiations and meteorites.
The astronauts occupying this isolated island in space represent, psychologically, a world of their own.
The physical environments on the target celestial bodies are qualitatively and quantitatively different from that of the astronauts’ home planet, the Earth, which requires special biotechnical measures for their survival.
They may discover on target celestial bodies another living world with a strange, exotic flora and fauna, which may pose important problems of useful and harmful biotic interrelations, such as contamination.
During the larger part of the space flight trajectory, the vehicle itself behaves like a celestial body following the laws of celestial mechanics. This condition, and the transformation of an earthly machine into a celestial body and its retransformation into an aerodynamic vehicle, and also the gravities found on the targets, such as the Moon and Mars, subject the astronaut, who is basically a 1-g creature, to a large spectrum of G-forces from zero to multiples of one g.
KeywordsCelestial Body Space Flight Radiation Belt Planetary System Space Vehicle
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