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Thread: Recovery period after freefall?

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    Recovery period after freefall?

    How long do astronauts traditionally need to get back in physical shape after an extended period, say a few weeks, weightless?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Typically, after a free fall from a ten-story building, the recovery period is undefined.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Typically, after a free fall from a ten-story building, the recovery period is undefined.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    It sounds like months to years is what is usually expected, and in some cases there can be issues that never go away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    It sounds like months to years is what is usually expected, and in some cases there can be issues that never go away.
    That's after a very long stay. I would like to know about missions of say, two or three weeks?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    It sounds like months to years is what is usually expected, and in some cases there can be issues that never go away.
    Whoa, not good for Mars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Whoa, not good for Mars.
    We really need to work on building spacecraft with those spinning wheels. Otherwise we may not get beyond our own Moon.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    We really need to work on building spacecraft with those spinning wheels. Otherwise we may not get beyond our own Moon.
    I was reading about the medical problems associated with a return from microgravity, and I thought, whoa, this bites. How are we going to get more than robots out of here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    I was reading about the medical problems associated with a return from microgravity, and I thought, whoa, this bites. How are we going to get more than robots out of here?
    Seriously. We need to work this problem, or remain in the nest. It's a difficult feat of engineering, but humanity has accomplished harder things.

    Let the good times roll.
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    Following the previous post, this thread segued into a discussion of how to engineer spinning space stations. That discussion has been moved here. Any further discussion on that topic should go on that thread, while any further responses to the initial question may still be posted here.
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    Thanks.

    To copy one relevant post from that thread:

    Even if low G turns out to be inadequate for long term habitation, maybe lower-spin centrifuges could "stretch" the amount of time you spend outside a full 1G environment.

    Or we could always go with the classic running ring, make your own centrifugal force (According to Robert Forward a fast sprint can get you up to 1/3G equivalent). Takes up significant volume but it is a much easier build than a motorized centrifuge.
    So we can, on larger space habitats and vessels, theoretically mitigate some of the bodily effects of weightlessness. A simple if bulky ring of corridors will do. Certainly a Mars mission or other long duration voyage would probably require large spacecraft anyway.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    The main minor advantage a running ring has over a "ferris wheel" is that you can use the middle of the ring for storage space.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    The main disadvantage, aside from the limited acceleration, is that the effects only last as long as you're running fast.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I get that someone who spent many years in freefall would not be able to return to Earth, but would their condition shorten their life expectancy if they stayed in space (not counting radiation issues)? Or is that too speculative a question?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I was reading about constant volume space suits and the resistance that makes them hard to move, something like four times the energy expended over moving around in your shirtsleeves.. There are many attempts past and present to reduce the effort needed to get around in such a suit

    So I thought, why eliminate it? It could be useful.

    Could future space travelers wear resistance suits? Something to give them the kind of constant low-level exercise akin to standing and walking on Earth. Keep the heart and muscles toned and fit.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    We know what extended freefall can do permanent damage, due to ocular and cranial pressure etc. It's like hanging upside down for a long time, the fluids rush to the head.

    Do we know how long that process takes to do real damage? Days, weeks?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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