Broadcast 1363 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

15 May 2010 Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan
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Guests: CLASSROOM: Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist. Topics: Lesson 7, Human Factors Part 1. This program was Lesson 7 and the first part of a two part series on human factors for space travel. Please visit The Space Show Classroom blog for presentation material (its copyrighted) and post all comments and questions for the guests on the blog at http://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com. In the first segment of the program, our guests summarized the major human factors and medical issues for suborbital and very short term spaceflight. As Dr. Logan noted, this is the 49th year of human spaceflight, about 500 people have flown and there have been about 260 space missions. This comes to an 85 person/year of spaceflight experience. He said there were no real surprises or show stoppers for this category of spaceflight. We addressed bone loss issues and talked about G-loading positions for spaceflight participants to minimize acceleration stresses. We compared these positions to those flying in a high performance fighter jet. Centrifuge training was discussed in detail and why its so important to fly the suborbital or spaceflight profiles that one intends to take. We talked about cardiac dysrhythmia, medical qualifications, beta blockers, and corrective steps if medical conditions were found to exist in someone that wants to fly in space. Our guests talked about the disqualification process and explained it to us. Listen carefully as it was not what I thought would be and some of you may also be surprised by what our guests said about potentially adverse medical conditions. This is an important discussion so don't miss it. Floating around in the space vehicle was also brought up and discussed as a potential risk factor. We had a question from Mel for Dr. Logan asking him about the tricks to avoid getting air sick if one has the opportunity to fly in a high performance military jet with a downright "evil" pilot. You will enjoy this discussion! During this segment, we spent more time talking about cardiac issues and the usage of pharmaceuticals in space. One drug combination Dr. Logan talked about was ScopeDex for space sickness. Our guests also suggested that spaceflight participants fly different zero g parabolas to experience weightlessness and see how they react to it and what "space sickness" is like. Another issue that came up that would be critical for suborbital or any spaceflight was the ability for the person to do a rapid egress from the vehicle in case of an emergency. Bone loss and osteoporosis were discussed in more detail during this segment. A listener asked about flying children and here the age of consent came up as a problem/obstacle. When asked about pregnant women in space, our guests said that all women of child bearing age must have a pregnancy test to fly. You don't want to miss this discussion. Later in this segment, Jerry inquired about NASA space medical personnel and their ability to speak freely within NASA and outside the NASA line of command. During the second segment, our guests repeated the three "commandments" for human spaceflight: Do no danger to yourself, do no danger to the mission, and do no danger to others. Dr. Jurist also talked about the risks of space diving explaining the major issues and risks associated with it. I asked Dr. Logan about what to eat before a spaceflight. Later in this segment, we talked about high altitude military jet ejections in the context of the earlier discussion on space diving. Toward the end of the program, we talked about space radiation issues which were not said to be that significant for a very short suborbital flight. While we discussed radiation in some detail, it will be a major focus of the second part of the human factors discussing in Lesson 8. As we neared the end of the program, we talked more about the g-loading as well as a question from Bill on radiation issues for the ISS and a potential solar incident during a suborbital flight. At the end, I asked each guest to prioritize the research as well as research dollars for suborbital and short duration human spaceflight. The final show topic was in response to a question about obesity and spaceflight participants. If you have questions or comments about this program or for Drs. Logan and Jurist, post them on The Space Show Classroom blog where this program is archived. Visit http://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com. Any emails sent me will be posted back on the blog under the sender's name as we want the discussion to be part of the Classroom series.

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