Space Is the Final Frontier: Explorers Be Prepared for Drastic Changes
Do we Take our Existence Here on Terra Firma for Granted
Do we take our existence here on Terra Firma for granted? Do we ever think about needing special apparatuses to breathe, or worry that if we are not careful we will float out into space? What about breakfast, lunch, and dinner; we may not have what we want for each meal, but as a whole, we know that food is available and that sometimes we might have to search for it in a supermarket; what an inconvenience! However, if we colonize space, we will have to look much further than our local grocery store to find sustainable food.
Space is the last frontier, but we will never be able to seek out ever wonder that lies there as we have on many parts of the Earth; it is too massive. An example of the magnitude of space is shown in the photo image above, which was captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. It allowed us to view one of the most herculean stars yet seen in our Milky Way galaxy. This star is 100,000 times as bright as the Sun. This gives us an idea of how different the atmosphere would be on any planets in its system, compared to Earth, and what we would have to do to live in its solar system.
How Living in Space Will Affect our Bodies
Let's take a look at how much difference living in space as compared to Earth would be. We would have to deal with zero gravity, which can affect our muscle mass, our circulatory system, and our bone structure, not to mention many other variables in our existence. All these must be considered and provided for in space. There is no easy solution to the changes, and preparation is essential for our survival there. However, some preparations have begun.
The International Space Station
One of the most important creations for space exploration began when the first component of the International Space Station (ISS) was launched into orbit in 1998. This project was funded by America and built by Russia. Since then the station has been modified with additional modules and equipment as needed. They have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles. The ISS is expected to operate until 2028.
Water, Oxygen and Food on the ISS
Air and water are two of the essentials on the ISS, which has tanks of water flown up regularly. The station also uses a complex water system to purify wastewater into drinkable water. This process allows shower water, sweat, and urine to be recycled. The station also keeps about 530 gallons of water in reserve for emergencies.
Breathable oxygen is generated by electrolysis of water, and by oxygen storage tanks sent there by unmanned cargo ships. The astronauts can also make oxygen chemically through the ignition of Solid Fuel Oxygen Generation (SFOG) canisters, which contain lithium perchlorate.
Specially packaged concentrates of food are delivered mainly by unmanned rockets.
The Mars Ice House
As science and space flight work in sync to pave the way for human habitation on other planets and moons, the discovery of what is believed to be large amounts of water in the frozen state on Mars opens a foundation for being able to sustain life there. Remember water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen and can be separated by electrolysis, which will supply breathable oxygen. Also, a theory of building houses from the ice of mars is being studied by NASA and other organizations. The artist's creation above is one concept being considered.
In this article, we have only touched on a few of the vital elements to sustain life in space and on other worlds, but there are many more. To achieve our goals there, we must continue to open new avenues in science, but we have dealt with adversities since the birth of Adam and Eve and we will continue to do so as long as God is willing.
For a video tour of the ISS, click on the video link below. Also, watch for additional articles on life in space in this digital magazine.
Video Tour the International Space Station
- Nasa - www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
- Library of Congress - www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA04968
- Space Science - www.space.com/science-astronomy