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Astronaut Augmented Atrophy-Reduction Suit

Prevent astronauts turning into weak, fragile messes
  [vote for,

When humans go into space, a few things happen, many loose their lunch, some seem to think it's a huge joke and all, given enough time get so weak they can't walk. This is a problem, because the trip to Mars, for example, is projected to be extraordinarily long compared to historic space missions.

Technology is being developed toward the building of full or partial suits that use mechanical means to increase the output of human movement. Now, in microgravity, we don't need a lot more mechanical force, moving around can be done very easily. So, we use the same electromechanical means in the opposite direction. The carefully tuned suit will resist all movement in a manner that resembles the loads that gravity imposes on muscles. Using these all day every day should prevent atrophy. It may even be possible to generate modest electrical power from the work done.

bs0u0155, Apr 08 2015


theircompetitor, Apr 08 2015

       The problem isn't just muscle loading, apparently. I have a friend who is a bit of a nut on the subject of long-term health consequences of microgravity.   

       The better solution for long-term missions is to use a counterweight and tether system, which I'm sure we've discussed here before. Just tether some payload (for instance, things needed only after landing) to the crew capsule, and spin the whole thing bolo-style to give a decent Coriolis-free pseudogravity. Makes steering a bit of a bugger, but would be OK for a long cruise.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 08 2015

       Sort-of Coriolis free. I'll bet it's still noticeable. I don't think the steering is that bad actually, in fact I reckon it's pretty trivial to control with even rudimentary computer controlled thrusters. The advantage of my system is that you just flip the switch* from hinder to help and you're a Mars super hero! (The low gravity will already make humans pretty sprightly).   

       Do fish suffer microgravity problems? Also, sharks fall asleep when they're upside down... how does that work in space?   

       *actually, right click, properties, assistance tab, then uncheck the box that says "invert force augmentation" to be found next to the paper size tab
bs0u0155, Apr 08 2015

       (and if you get the wrong box, you are either printed on A4 or saved in ISO 9660 format)
lurch, Apr 08 2015

       //fish suffer microgravity problems?//   

       Guppies explode. In microgravity, they sense that they're sinking, and adjust the gas volume of their swim bladders accordingly, ending with either catastrophic failure or sushi, depending on your perspective.   

       The soviets also took dogfish (which are sharks, more or less) into orbit. The dogfish did not return.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 08 2015


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