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crosscountry
2007-Nov-30, 02:54 PM
So will astronauts sent to other planets need training along the way? Moon missions last barely a week so all of their training (especially pilot) is fresh. But after months of travel won't they need a refresher?

Maybe interplanetary space ships will have full virtual simulators.

antoniseb
2007-Nov-30, 03:36 PM
I hadn't thought about it, but I expect you are right.

crosscountry
2007-Nov-30, 03:37 PM
yea, it just occured to me this morning. we always talk about physical training, but that's only part of what makes an astronaut "fit".

antoniseb
2007-Nov-30, 04:14 PM
yea, it just occured to me this morning. we always talk about physical training, but that's only part of what makes an astronaut "fit".
To some degree the trip out is so long that it might be that significant parts of the training for the mission would be done after departure. The trip back might be horrifyingly boring.

Doodler
2007-Nov-30, 04:29 PM
I'm pretty sure there'll be plenty to do on the way out and back.

Stick enough science gadgets on the boat to keep them occupied with tasks during the trip. Its not often humans will ever get out that far, it wouldn't hurt to make the most of it.

Larry Jacks
2007-Nov-30, 07:13 PM
I suspect the astronauts on a really long mission (e.g. Mars) will train by running simulations on their actual instrument consoles. This is old hat to the military. Back in 1990, I trained in operating the Cobra Dane intel radar by blocking the data lines and running simulation tapes. The Navy has done this with nuclear missile subs for decades. You don't have to carry simulators - just use the actual mission equipment with simulation software.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-30, 07:30 PM
The trip back might be horrifyingly boring.

With a shipload of data and samples to go over? Not likely.

filrabat
2007-Nov-30, 10:29 PM
I assume that for a mission that long, they'd make the most of it and explore Deimos and Phobos. Because their gravity is so very small, wouldn't it make sense to have a low grav area inside the ship? (practicing how softly to walk on the surface). To me, there's really no way around spinning the vessel to produce artificial gravity. In space, it's relatively easy to do - just put small thrusters on the craft to give it spin and oua-la - instant G-like-force!

If this happens, I suspect there'll be three decks inside: one with pseudo-G forces matching Earth, Mars, and one of the moons.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-30, 11:29 PM
If this happens, I suspect there'll be three decks inside: one with pseudo-G forces matching Earth, Mars, and one of the moons.

Given the distances from the center of rotation needed to avoid vertigo, it would look more like a string of beads than decks of a single craft.

KaiYeves
2007-Dec-01, 12:40 AM
Maybe interplanetary space ships will have full virtual simulators.
That would be good for fighting boredom in the seven month trip.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-01, 12:44 AM
I assume that for a mission that long, they'd make the most of it and explore Deimos and Phobos. Because their gravity is so very small, wouldn't it make sense to have a low grav area inside the ship? (practicing how softly to walk on the surface). Probably not practical. On Phobos an average man would weigh about 2 grams. ďWalkingĒ on the surface would probably not be possible, and ordinary strides would be too long to simulate on the ship.


To me, there's really no way around spinning the vessel to produce artificial gravity. In space, it's relatively easy to do - just put small thrusters on the craft to give it spin and oua-la - instant G-like-force! Agreed.


If this happens, I suspect there'll be three decks inside: one with pseudo-G forces matching Earth, Mars, and one of the moons. It would only require one deck on the outside. On the trip to Mars, the ship could be spun up to 1G on that deck, then slowly spun down to .38G over the course of the trip. On the way back, the reverse could be done. That would give people a chance to slowly acclimate over a long period of time. There wouldnít be a need for 1G on the Mars end, or .38G on the Earth end. Inside decks could be storage.

crosscountry
2007-Dec-01, 04:08 AM
With a shipload of data and samples to go over? Not likely.

that's my thought. the way back there will be more to do. plus they'll have to buff up for Earth's gravity.

crosscountry
2007-Dec-01, 04:10 AM
plus to ward off boredom I'm sure they'll have full access to video games and online books, probably much more.

filrabat
2007-Dec-01, 07:24 AM
On the trip to Mars, the ship could be spun up to 1G on that deck, then slowly spun down to .38G over the course of the trip. On the way back, the reverse could be done. That would give people a chance to slowly acclimate over a long period of time. There wouldnít be a need for 1G on the Mars end, or .38G on the Earth end. Inside decks could be storage.

Body strength is always advantageous. Therefore, to plan for contingencies, it's best to have 1G (if anything, make the G > 1.0). Sure, they might get clumsy on Mars for a while. All they need to do is take it easy and get used to Mars gravity. But you never know when strength might come in handy. That's why I vote for "1G or + throughout the mission (even 1<G if possible!).

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-01, 07:45 AM
We donít know what the long term effects of .38 G will be on the human body. Bigger and stronger is not always better. IMO, it would be better to taper off from 1G to .38G during the voyage, than to overdo it and [I]assume[/I[] that the extra gravity training would be advantageous. In this situation, I think caution would be more prudent than unfounded assumptions.

filrabat
2007-Dec-01, 11:22 AM
We donít know what the long term effects of .38 G will be on the human body. Bigger and stronger is not always better. IMO, it would be better to taper off from 1G to .38G during the voyage, than to overdo it and [I]assume[/I[] that the extra gravity training would be advantageous. In this situation, I think caution would be more prudent than unfounded assumptions.

Do you know of any examples where more body strength wouldn't be advantageous? Understand I'm not talking about turning astronauts into Olympic weightlifters. I'm merely speaking of keeping the ships pseudo-gravity at slightly over 1 G -- say, 1.15 G.

For my part, it's hard to discern situations in which physical strength could not be advantageous: you can move stuff further, and in many cases faster. You could also lift stuff that you normally couldn't lift quickly (a 300 kg mass would still be a petty heavy weight on Mars -- equivalent to 114 kg on Earth). True, the odds of actually needing to lift that much weight is pretty low. Even so, think in terms of cost-benefits in more than a $ sense; think also in terms of safety. There's no telling what predicament may require sheer physical strength - especially on a one to two year mission.

antoniseb
2007-Dec-01, 01:12 PM
Do you know of any examples where more body strength wouldn't be advantageous?
The Bowflex commercials keep talking about how having more muscles make you burn calories faster. Assuming there are a limited number of food calories for the journey, it might make sense to send under-muscled people and give them equipment to augment their strength (do the work of lifting). Extending this idea, it might make sense for the entire crew to be short, slender, under-muscled, middle-aged, vegetarian, easy-going, women scientists.

-please note, I am offering a suggestion to your query, and not using Bowflex commercials as a peer reviewed reference.

Noclevername
2007-Dec-01, 07:11 PM
By the time a manned mission is actually launched, we may have some experience in Martian G; in rotating space stations in Earth orbit. 20-30 years from now leaves plenty of time to practice before the trip.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-01, 08:28 PM
It isnít just a matter of skeletal muscle strength. Lower gravity will probably affect every system in the body. Going straight from 1G to .38G under stressful conditions may create problems we havenít considered. By then, we may have the necessary data. But until then, I would advise caution.

filrabat
2007-Dec-04, 03:05 AM
It isnít just a matter of skeletal muscle strength. Lower gravity will probably affect every system in the body. Going straight from 1G to .38G under stressful conditions may create problems we havenít considered. By then, we may have the necessary data. But until then, I would advise caution.

I get your point now, in conjunction to antonisebs about body strength = more resources to use. Maybe there's a trade-off somewhere (notwithstanding my olympic weightlifters comment). Our difference in opinion just goes to show we still have lots to prepare for when it comes to learning what "reasonable due care" means for a crewed interplanetary mission.

Any ideas about how to set up the necessary experiment, people?

crosscountry
2007-Dec-04, 04:16 AM
there are a lot of concerns when picking the people. First off medical personnel and pilots. Hopefully those positions can be coincidental with scientists - the real reason for going there.

The scientist should be qualified to gain the most knowledge while there and be able to report findings, set equipment, and possibly repair/fix problems.

The more a person can do the better qualified.

As far as the person's size? I'm sure the current requirements will be similar to those imposed on the astronauts that eventually go to Mars.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-04, 04:38 AM
Any ideas about how to set up the necessary experiment, people? Only one way I know of, and that is to build a proper rotating space station capable of producing comfortable living and working conditions in a variety of gravity levels. It would make sense to train for the Moon at the same time as training for Mars.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-04, 04:51 AM
Picking a crew. In addition to everyone being cross trained as a paramedic, Minimum:
2 Doctors
2 Machinists
4 Geologists
2 Physicists
4 Pilots
6 Rocket Maintenance Men
6 Botanists
2 Dieticians/Cooks
2 Electrical Engineers
2 Computer Technicians
2 Atmospheric Scientists
6 Explorer/Mountain Climbers
2 Heavy Equipment Operators
2 Electricians
2 Plumbers
4 handymen
2 Astronomers
2 Rocket Scientists
2 Metallurgists
2 Plastics Engineers

crosscountry
2007-Dec-04, 06:02 AM
Many of those are learnable skills to anyone. Electrician, Plumber, handymen, heavy equipment operators are all things someone can do without many years of training. A physicist say with those skills would be an important person.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-04, 06:08 AM
Everything is learnable. But someone has to install and/or fix the plumbing, and someone has to make the habitat livable, and someone has to grow the plants, and someone has to cook, while others are making sure the spacecraft are going to function properly.

filrabat
2007-Dec-04, 08:51 PM
Crosstraining is important. They have to be great generalists in the event something goes wrong (for example, a cook good at reading the schematics of the ship and can do a competent, if not expert, job of maintainence. Or a geologist or astronomer who is also pretty well-informed about nutrition, and any other combination you can think of). Being great generalists with a competitive advantage in brain and communication power is what made Humans the dominant species on this planet, after all.

crosscountry
2007-Dec-05, 12:17 AM
I see. More than one person with those qualities would be desireable. A geologist in the field cannot help with problems back at the habitat in the case of an emergency.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-05, 03:49 AM
Crosstraining is important.Absolutely. I think many astronauts are already cross-trained in many different areas. Every member should be cross-trained as a paramedic, or at least an EMT. Every member should be a competent pilot. And every member should be significantly cross-trained in at least three alternative disciplines.


They have to be great generalists in the event something goes wrong (for example, a cook good at reading the schematics of the ship and can do a competent, if not expert, job of maintainence. Or a geologist or astronomer who is also pretty well-informed about nutrition, and any other combination you can think of).Agreed 100%. I consider myself to be an accomplished generalist. I have worked hard at learning everything I can. I currently do professional grade (or above) work in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, electronic, drywall, painting, welding, graphics design, and many other areas. It is amazing what you can learn if you arenít afraid to try.

publiusr
2007-Dec-07, 08:45 PM
They should be navy submariners if possible. Or divers...

crosscountry
2007-Dec-08, 03:54 PM
because that's important?

JohnD
2007-Dec-08, 04:07 PM
The OP asked if astronauts on months long transits would need re-training in the different skills they will need on landing.

I fear that you under-estimate the abilities and intelligence of people capable of astronaut training, or any other high-skill profession. For example, doctors may go their whole professional lives and never see certain rare conditions. But they are, or should be, up to diagnosing and treating them if they do. In the same way, a highly skilled and trained astronaut will be able to retain the skills and knowledge they will need (possibly fewer than rare medical conditions!) for a few months.
The pressures on a small group of people in a confined space are a quite different, and more difficult question.

John

crosscountry
2007-Dec-08, 06:34 PM
while pshcological concerns are great I completely disagree with you on the other part.


Even the best golfer in the world after a few months break will have major problems. Olympic gymnists only a short time after retiring are certainly not capable of the same feats they did earlier.

Flying interplanetary missions is NOT like riding a bicycle, in fact the first missions will certainly be flown by people that have never ridden that proverbial bicycle. Simulations are one thing, and moon landing another. Mars is a whole nother animal, and I believe you have seriously underestimated the requirements.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-08, 08:36 PM
Even the best golfer in the world after a few months break will have major problems. Olympic gymnists only a short time after retiring are certainly not capable of the same feats they did earlier. And both of those involve high level hand-eye coordination and physical endurance. On Earth, fighter pilots have to endure high G forces repeatedly over extended periods of time. Space missions do not require that. In any case, most of the scientists on the team will be called upon for their expertise and knowledge, not physical prowess.

crosscountry
2007-Dec-08, 08:40 PM
somebody's got to land that thing.


and book knowledge isn't what we're talking about even in the slightest although I suspect books will be taken, at east electronically.



by your logic the astronauts wasted years with unnecessary training

crosscountry
2007-Dec-08, 08:42 PM
and you are kidding yourself if you think they'll send someone even a little less than physically fit.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-08, 09:04 PM
somebody's got to land that thing. If I recall correctly, the comment you responded to specified the skills they would need on landing. **Goes and checks** Yep, thatís what he said.


and book knowledge isn't what we're talking about even in the slightest although I suspect books will be taken, at east electronically.It isnít just book knowledge I mentioned, but also expertise. That comes from training.


by your logic the astronauts wasted years with unnecessary training That is false. My comments suggested no such thing, nor were they intended to.

MentalAvenger
2007-Dec-08, 09:07 PM
and you are kidding yourself if you think they'll send someone even a little less than physically fit.And you are using another classic Strawman argument. I did not say, hint at, insinuate, nor allude to any member being less than physically fit. Rather, my comments insinuated that they donít have to be at the level of professional or Olympic athletes. Big difference.