Broadcast 777 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

16 Sep 2007 Dr. Joan Vernikos
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Dr. Joan Vernikos was the guest for this Space Show program originally recorded and aired on Sept. 13, 2007 for a special replay on Monday, Sept. 17, 2007. Dr. Vernikos, the former Director of NASA's Life Science Division, is an expert in the effects of space, particularly gravity upon the astronauts. As we learned in this interview, she has taken her expertise regarding gravity and applied it to all of us non-astronauts for helping us to have healthy living here on Earth. Her book, "The G-Connection: Harness Gravity and Reverse Aging," is about this very subject. We discussed with Dr. Vernikos how we can apply the knowledge gained from astronauts and microgravity to the rest of us. She talked about movement and positions that we as humans are designed to do multiple times a day but because of changes in our lifestyle, we no longer do them, thus we are compromising our health over the long run. For example, you will want to hear her comments about standing up, lying down, getting up, and a protocol for doing this to compensate for our changes in the way we live, work with computers, etc. Pay particular attention to the time intervals because as we learned, we cannot do this protocol as if we were working out at a gym in a repetitive fashion. She also talked about the need for extensive gravity research to facilitate our becoming truly space-faring, but unfortunately, as we have heard from others, this important research is not being done or its being done at a snails pace. Several questions for her were about our possible jumping the gun with settlement and long term space travel plans until the gravity issues are better understood, but she said no. This is because the human space program is needed to inspire and motivate and cause the necessary research. The program and the research are linked together so both have to happen at the same time. One inspires the funding and development for the other. This is a most interesting discussion you will not want to miss. Dr. Vernikos also talked about stress in space, stress hormones, and what we have found out from later experiments versus some of the earlier ones that had different data for reasons she explains. She extrapolates and applies these astronaut findings regarding stress to our lives here on Earth as well. You will not want to miss this program. This is one way we make space relevant to all of us, through medical and research findings that can influence our daily lives for the best. Visit her website at You can send her comments and questions at Make sure you mention that you heard her on The Space Show.



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