Could women be better suited for long distance space travel?

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In summary, the Apollo program, which began in 1969, ended with the last manned mission, Apollo 17, in 1972. The mission was led by Colonel Eugene Cernan and geologist Harrison Schmitt and was the last in the program. The crew collected soil and rock samples, deployed scientific instruments, and collected data about the moon's atmosphere, heat flow, magnetic and gravitational fields, and seismic vibrations.
  • #36
Narrator. Scientists may found the "first colonies", but who do you think will pay for them?
 
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  • #37
narrator said:
But after an initial period of doing "the right thing" ecologically, we may revert to old habits of taking resources and environment for granted.
What is this "right thing" to which you are referring?

This site is mostly populated by physicists and engineers who can immediately spot the bad science fiction in "Jimmy and Sally went to the deck of the spaceship so they could see the captain engage the hyperdrive first-hand." Okay, fine, its that kind of science fiction book I'm reading.

Yet we don't blink an eye when we read that Jimmy and Sally ventured down to the hydroponics garden to grab a bite to eat. To biologist, that little statement is just as egregious as is the concept of a hyperdrive to a physicist.
 
  • #38
D H said:
What is this "right thing" to which you are referring?

This site is mostly populated by physicists and engineers who can immediately spot the bad science fiction in "Jimmy and Sally went to the deck of the spaceship so they could see the captain engage the hyperdrive first-hand." Okay, fine, its that kind of science fiction book I'm reading.

Yet we don't blink an eye when we read that Jimmy and Sally ventured down to the hydroponics garden to grab a bite to eat. To biologist, that little statement is just as egregious as is the concept of a hyperdrive to a physicist.
You've have no idea how much this made me smile. Countless times I've engaged in conversations with people about science and science fiction and found it difficult to get across the biological/ecological issues that are so often taken for granted. Most often this manifests in SF as eating food from other planets or (as is the case in this thread) the assumption that the only thing preventing colonies in space is a lack of space travel technology rather than the much more challenging lack of knowledge and means to build a self-sustaining closed ecosystem.
 
  • #39
Travis_King said:
Narrator. Scientists may found the "first colonies", but who do you think will pay for them?
I'm going more on how space exploration has been conducted so far, with science at the forefront of the mission objectives.
D H said:
What is this "right thing" to which you are referring?
Man, I can't get away with a flippant remark even if it's in quotes. Ok, substitute those two words with "using ecologically sound practices". I was answering Ryan's comment where he brought up Martian ecology.
D H said:
This site is mostly populated by physicists and engineers who can immediately spot the bad science fiction in "Jimmy and Sally went to the deck of the spaceship so they could see the captain engage the hyperdrive first-hand." Okay, fine, its that kind of science fiction book I'm reading.

Yet we don't blink an eye when we read that Jimmy and Sally ventured down to the hydroponics garden to grab a bite to eat. To biologist, that little statement is just as egregious as is the concept of a hyperdrive to a physicist.
Thanks for the mischaracterization. I guess my less than precise wording deserves derision, hey. Cheers
 
  • #40
I'm going more on how space exploration has been conducted so far, with science and Military at the forefront of the mission objectives.

Just edited for a little more truth...Not that I'm a conspiracy nut or anything. But the majority of space funding has come during times when militaristic advantage was desired. I find it difficult to believe that a military advantage could come from landing on Mars...
 
  • #41
narrator said:
Man, I can't get away with a flippant remark even if it's in quotes. Ok, substitute those two words with "using ecologically sound practices". I was answering Ryan's comment where he brought up Martian ecology.
I was responding to the notion that ecology gives us nothing for the study of the history of Mars, my point about an ecology was that if there ever was life on Mars a better understanding of ecology and biology would help us study it.

But mainly I bought up ecology to suggest that funding space mission after mission was a terrible way of getting to the end goal of self-sustaining colonies. For that there needs to be far more knowledge on how ecologies run so that we can construct and maintain a micro-biosphere for the colonists to live in (by that I don't mean Terraforming, more like a tented/domed area).
 
  • #42
narrator said:
Thanks for the mischaracterization. I guess my less than precise wording deserves derision, hey. Cheers
My comment wasn't aimed at you so much as everyone who has spoken of space colonization. The biological aspects of space colonization are pure science fiction. We don't know how to make a self-sustaining space venture.

Currently, the food that the International Space Station astronauts eat, the disposable clothing that they wear, the water that they drink, and the oxygen that they breath are all shipped to the ISS. Water is recycled from urine and from wash water, but that's about as far as it goes. The disposable clothing becomes garbage to be shipped back to Earth or burned up during reentry; human solid waste is exposed to vacuum to dry it out with what's left becoming garbage to be shipped back to Earth or burned up during reentry; CO2 is scrubbed from the breathing atmosphere and vented to vacuum; and H2O is electrolyzed to form O2 and H2 with the hydrogen vented to vacuum.
 
  • #43
Ryan_m_b said:
I was responding to the notion that ecology gives us nothing for the study of the history of Mars, my point about an ecology was that if there ever was life on Mars a better understanding of ecology and biology would help us study it.

But mainly I bought up ecology to suggest that funding space mission after mission was a terrible way of getting to the end goal of self-sustaining colonies. For that there needs to be far more knowledge on how ecologies run so that we can construct and maintain a micro-biosphere for the colonists to live in (by that I don't mean Terraforming, more like a tented/domed area).
And that's how I took it.. a biosphere is exactly what i imagined when you made the point. Something like the one in Arizona, which if I recall is several acres. And to go there to set up such a thing would be the first step in a larger colony, where the science of ecology would be at the forefront of the mission goals. And AFAIK, Terraforming Mars is next to impossible. :wink:
 
  • #44
D H said:
My comment wasn't aimed at you so much as everyone who has spoken of space colonization. The biological aspects of space colonization are pure science fiction. We don't know how to make a self-sustaining space venture.
Understood. Perhaps if it's not addressed to me, then it shouldn't be in a reply to me.

As for "We don't know how," I just joined in the discussion on colonization, which had been going on a while before I threw in my 2c worth.
 
  • #45
narrator said:
And that's how I took it.. a biosphere is exactly what i imagined when you made the point. Something like the one in Arizona, which if I recall is several acres.
A lot was learned from Biosphere 2 -- about how not to do it, that is. Biosphere 2 was a lesson in doing things the wrong way.

And AFAIK, Terraforming Mars is next to impossible. :wink:
With current technology, correct. That is also true for any reasonable extrapolation from current technology. For some future technology that can be hand-waved into existence, sure. Just hand-wave it into existence. However, even with that future technology, terraforming Mars might well be politically impossible. The Red Mars faction as described by Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars trilogy is not science fiction. It exists right now and is a sense the international rule of law regarding planetary protection.
 
  • #46
D H said:
A lot was learned from Biosphere 2 -- about how not to do it, that is. Biosphere 2 was a lesson in doing things the wrong way.
:eek: I just read the Wiki on it.. no wonder it failed.. seems it was largely pseudo-science.
 
  • #47
D H said:
With current technology, correct. That is also true for any reasonable extrapolation from current technology. For some future technology that can be hand-waved into existence, sure. Just hand-wave it into existence. However, even with that future technology, terraforming Mars might well be politically impossible. The Red Mars faction as described by Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars trilogy is not science fiction. It exists right now and is a sense the international rule of law regarding planetary protection.
As much as I enjoyed the Mars Trilogy it was quite frustrated by how Robinson could spent page after page describing in the most meticulous detail some nuance of the local geology but then hand-wave away other important themes such as how the general purpose factories work and provide wishy-washy "they were genetically engineered" answers for how plants were grown.
 
  • #48
Ryan_m_b said:
What is it about zero-g that you think will effect a condom? As for other kinds of contraception it would be relatively easy to test the efficacy of an implant or pill before you start the mission.

You are aware that women have a sex drive too right? And that men don't really go insane from celibacy?
You haven't met my ex wife. LOL
 
  • #49
Ophiolite said:
3) There is some research that suggests that women may be better suited for the rigrours of long distance travel.
With about 3 years round trip we are talking about 40 periods on board... in confined space... with nowhere to go... God help the crew.

As an alternative, it could take so much hormonal treatment to keep the issue under control, that the question of whether or not they are still female will become moot.
 

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