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Gravity, the third dimension of life support in spaceThe ascent of the human into high altitudes required a 2-D life support system that supplied: oxygen, and heat. At lower altitudes, increased oxygen concentration in the inhaled gases was useful, but at higher altitudes for longer durations, this 'clever' life support approach was no longer adequate--physiologic requirements had to provide a natural pressure-based environment. In space, the life support system requires a third dimension, gravity. Although substituting for gravity has been successful on a limited number of physiologic functions for short-duration stays in space, long durations will require the effects of the real thing for critical physiologic functions. It has been known for over a hundred years that the forces of acceleration (G) and gravity are equivalent. Therefore, gravitational stimulation in space can be achieved with centrifugation. However, for this stimulation to be effective, the dosage of G required to maintain normal physiologic function must be determined. An approximation of this dosage of G for the human can be determined with 3-day bed-rest studies including periodic centrifuge exposure. Recent research on this topic is reviewed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Burton, Russell R.
(Aerospace Medical Research Labs. Brooks AFB, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Seventh Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1993), Volume 2
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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