Broadcast 2657, Dr. Michael Schmidt, Dr. Thomas Goodwin

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Guests:  Dr. Michael Schmidt, Dr. Thomas Goodwin;  Topic:  Artificial gravity research using omics analyses.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See  

We welcomed back Dr. Michael Schmidt and Dr. Thomas Goodwin to discuss their paper on artificial gravity, "Incorporation of omics analyses into artificial gravity research for space exploration countermeasure development."  You can download this paper on line by visiting  It would certainly be beneficial for you to review this paper prior to listening to this program on archives.  In addition, visit Dr. Schmidt's website,  During the first segment of our 1 hour 45 minute discussion, Dr. Schmidt started us off by giving us the background leading up to their having published their paper Jan. 20. 2016, plus the history of artificial gravity (AG) research studies including both in space and on Earth.  As you will hear, there was one human centrifuge study in space aboard STS 90 via the Neurolab experiments.  There have been two rodent AG experiments.  Dr. Schmidt described these experiments, putting them in context of what could be studied today using omics analyses.  Spinning as a countermeasure was discussed but it is unknown as to the spin rate needed to achieve a gravity load that will protect a person though it is thought that a minimum gravity load might be .5 or .75.  A nuclear rocket was also discussed as a method of achieving the required gravitational protection by tumbling at a specific rate end over end.  Don't miss the details behind this concept.

Listeners wanted to know if the minimum gravity load would be the same for everyone and every type of human body, gender, race, and age.  Simply put, not enough is known to be able to definitively answer those questions.  Our guests also talked about CO2 percentages in the atmosphere as there are reported CO2 sensitivity issues in microgravity.  Listener Frank asked if 1 g on Earth is equal to 1 g of artificial gravity. 

One significant issue addressed by our guests was the gravity gradient regarding human centrifuge work.  This means the person's head might be at a different level of gravity than the person's legs and feet.  Longer arm centrifuges minimize the gradient issues but they are much hard and more costly to engineer on a spacecraft.  Gravity gradient issues are significant so don't miss this part of our discussion.  Before the segment ended, George in Atlanta asked about the SpaceX Mars plans.  Listen to the specifics of his two part question and what our guests said in response to each part of the question.  The last question for the first segment was from Jerry in Merit Island regarding the specs and parameters of the proposed Mars Colonial Transfer (MC) rocket which he said would be 60 meters long by 15 meters wide.  Jerry provided some of the parameters for AG mitigation.  Our guests responded to Jerry based on the long arm centrifuge studies at NASA Ames.  The Ames centrifuge is about half the size of the talked about MCT.  This is an important discussion so don't miss it.  In addition, take note of the engineering structural stress issues caused by larger vehicles and mitigation spinning.

In the second segment, the question of a government mission or a private mission to resolve AG issues came up.  Our guests thought that solutions to some of these issues might be best served by being addressed in the commercial mission plan for a specific human BLEO mission. 

Our guests talked about the compelling rational for this research.  An example was given regarding the bone and muscle deterioration known to happen with long duration microgravity spaceflight.  To help protect DNA and repair it due to radiation, magnesium was needed but magnesium is lost in spaceflight so the ability to repair DNA from radiation damage may be impaired because of the issues causing a loss of magnesium.  They cited other reasons for the compelling rational for AG research using omics analyses.  Remember, the use of omics analyses in the research affords specialized targeting to really hone in on specific areas needing mitigation and how to do it for the type of cells involved as well for each specific part of the body impacted by microgravity. 

Wayne sent in an email asking about the funding of this type of research.  While our guests did respond to Wayne, they also made the point that in an approximate $19 billion NASA budget, less than $250 million is spent on humans in space research.  They said there were always tough choices to make regarding funding and its always a balancing act. 

The recently concluded Twin Study on the ISS was brought up.  Our guests explained why this study was so important and so very unique.  The study did make use of omics research which our guests said would increase with future ISS and space research projects. 

Roger  emailed in a question about science fiction movies and possibly coming away with AG research mitigation strategies from the realm of sci-fi.  Don't miss the response to his question.  Scott emailed in a question asking about the relevance of bed rest studies.

Don't miss the concluding statements offered by both guests.  It was suggested that perhaps AG should not be viewed as a mitigation strategy but instead as an imperative for going into space just like air, water, food, space suits and other mission essentials.

Please post your comments/questions in the comments section for this archived show on The Space Show website.  You can reach our guests through me




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01 Mar 2016 Dr. Michael Schmidt, Dr. Thomas Goodwin
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