Broadcast 721 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

28 May 2007 Dr, Gilles Clément, Dr. Angie Bukley
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Dr. Angie Buckley and Dr. Gilles Clément were the guests for this Space Show program to discuss their new book, "Artificial Gravity." During the program, Drs. Buckley and Clément made the case for an extensive study of artificial gravity and related issues for long term spaceflight and space settlement. We discussed many of the human factors associated with humans being in microgravity for long periods of time. This discussion included a look at the physiological problems, nutritional issues, neurological issues, and much more. Their book covers these subjects in-depth but we were able to at least touch on the main points of each for this show. We also talked about the research that is needed to move the analysis and decision making process further along so we can better deal with these issues for our future space exploration and development plans. We discussed the current NASA view regarding artificial gravity versus the present day protocols to protect astronauts from the microgravity consequences of being in space for a long time and we extrapolated possible consequences from what are perceived to be today's conclusions from NASA on the artificial gravity subject as related to the VSE. Many listeners asked questions of both guests about the ideal amount of gravity for a spinning space ship or station. For example, should it be 1G or maybe something less like that on the Moon or even 1/3 G like on Mars? Listeners raised issues about related problems such as radiation and our guests showed how these problems interact with one another to complicate some of the human factors for long term space flight. Listeners asked several questions about the effect of spinning on the inhabitants of the vehicle and the station. You will certainly want to hear what our guests have to say about this. Listeners inquired about medical emergencies for the crew in a microgravity environment as opposed to having at least one section of artificial gravity available for such problems. We discussed surgery and other complications as well as the ethics of providing or not providing artificial gravity for the space explorers. Our guests, in responding to additional listener questions, discussed options to spinning a station to create artificial gravity. Their book is available on Amazon, check it out at this URL: www.amazon.com/Artificial-Gravity-Space-Technology-Library/dp/0387707123... . As I pointed out during this program, this book is certainly destined to be a desk reference for artificial gravity and human factors for years to come. Its outstanding, packed full of real information and I believe its indispensable for those working in the field or planning space missions, as well as for those simply wanting to understand the issues involved in long term human space exploration and settlement. Drs. Buckley and Clément are more than happy to receive your comments and questions. Please direct them to me through drspace@thespaceshow.com. I have invited these two authors to return later this year to continue the artificial gravity discussion as this is an important topic and it needs to be seriously considered for the VSE and our long term space plans.

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