Dedicated to the Health and Safety of the Personal Space Traveler

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Can human spaceflight be justified?

On the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Atlantic Monthly just published a great article in which the following series of questions were posed:

"So in the highly segmented world of NASA, is the Hubble a triumph and justification for human space flight? Or proof that we can be equally thrilled, excited and humbled by our robotic explorations in space...and proof of how much more we can learn from non-human voyages and missions?"

Former NASA astronaut Story Musgrave has an interesting perspective on these questions.

What's your take?

Enabling safe passage to NEOs

On April 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama, in a speech at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, proclaimed that "By 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the moon into deep space. We'll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history."

A manned mission to a near-earth asteroid is a bold endeavor, and proponents believe that it may represent a more viable deep space target for exploration than a return to the moon. However, the capabilities for sustaining a crew for such a mission are many-fold more complex than caring for astronauts in low earth orbit, which is the bulk of our recent experience with spaceflight.

What issues and hurdles are likely for astronauts to be successfully launched-- and returned!-- from a near-earth asteroid mission? How is crew selection, training and the need for enabling technologies going to evolve to make this all possible? How does a near-earth asteroid mission prepare astronauts for an eventual sojourn to Mars, which President Obama hopes to also see in his lifetime?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Welcome to the Space Medicine Associates' BLOG!

The Mission of Space Medicine Associates is to provide multidisciplinary space medicine and bioastronautics consultation, training and oversight in support of all aspects of off-world travel. Serving both the commercial launch industry and the personal space traveler, SMA endeavors to safely open human spaceflight to as many individuals as possible.

Consistent with this mission, the SMA BLOG will include discourse on a variety of space medicine and bioastronautics topics relevant to the nascent commercial launch industry and the personal space traveler.

SMA founders, advisors and guest experts will be blogging from time-to-time.

The SMA BLOG is intended to open a dialog regarding medical qualifications and safety for commercial spaceflight with the spaceflight-aspiring public.

We look forward to hearing from you as we begin the conversation!