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Space Medicine

Astronauts' Hearts Change Shape In Space 113

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Astronauts who go into space come back with rounder hearts. Scientists who had astronauts regularly take images of their hearts with ultrasound machines found that the organ becomes more spherical in space by a factor of 9.4%. The researchers believe the change in shape, which is temporary, indicates that the heart is performing less efficiently in zero gravity."
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Astronauts' Hearts Change Shape In Space

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  • But do they need it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @06:28PM (#46626171)
    I would be curious to know if the heart even has to be as efficient in micro gravity.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @07:43PM (#46626721) Homepage

    All ofthe NASA designs from the 60's were 10KM across at the smallest. building a tiny one at 1Mile across would be silly 10Km will be a rotational speed of 0.02 Radians per second. or 1 revolution every 6 minutes (Appx)

    Spinning is not the hard part, building it so that it can withstand the 1G of pulling force across the spokes that will have to exist is the hard part. you need to have a safety factor of at LEAST 2 to 1 of the spokes in case of failure.

    Plus you will want the torus to be at least 10km across otherwise you will get a significant difference of gravity from the feet to head and a tiny 1 mile across torus will actually make is so you can feel the spinning in your inner ear.

    This is all off the cuff calculations, I cant be bothered to grab my calculator. but it does not have to be a solid ring, you can start by building a double ended counterweight of two identical sections connected by a single spoke to a hub.

  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @08:01PM (#46626825) Journal

    Instead of generating a 1G equivalent force, generate 1/6, or 1/4.

    On a trip to Mars you could start at 1G and gradually reduce the spin until you reach 0.38G (Mars surface gravity). On the way back you increase the spin gradually until you reach 1G again. Over the 8 month trip, this would be imperceptible. Astronauts would be acclimated to the gravity of the destination planet by the time they got there.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @09:24PM (#46627277)

    The effects on the penis are documented.

    You will be happy with the results, the penis becomes engorged far easier and a bunch of other things resulting in a pleasant surprise to the kind of guy who thinks having his member be a little larger is going to resolve his performance issues.

    Likewise the woman's sex organs also fill with blood easier, making them more sensitive.

    This is all documented by NASA and other space agencies.

    The only thing I question is who they know some of the things they've documented without having a couple astronauts come back and say 'yea, we spanked it in space' or the married couple that went up on one of the shuttle missions really did have sex ... probably while the crew members watched since there really isn't anywhere to be alone. They insist its never happened though ...

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban