Broadcast 2762 Dr. Doug Plata

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Dr. Doug Plata;  Topics:  Lowering mission costs by extending crew time and Gravitron experiments at 11rpms!  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. Doug Plata to discuss his upcoming AIAA Space 2016 presentation on lowering mission costs by extending crew times on the Moon and Mars.  In addition, during the program he discussed the results of his latest Gravitron experiments (think centrifuge) at 11 rpms.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 55 minute program, Doug spoke about his AIAA paper focusing on extending crew time thereby lowering mission costs.  It is a detailed and comprehensive discussion that you will find most interesting.  Don't miss it.  During his discussion he went through his itemized list of requirements for extending crew time.  He focused on reliable life support, sufficient supplies, radiation protection, and microgravity issues.  His discussion included maximum times astronauts could spend on the Moon or Mars as long as their biomedical markers did not force them into an early return option. 

Later in the segment, there was a hypogravity discussion, lots of talk about artificial gravity and the use of centrifuges including a proper indoor centrifuge.  Doug then introduced us to the Coriolis Effect and his most recent Gravitron experiments at the spin rate of 11 rpm.  Doug had assistants with him for the Gravitron experiments, dividing up a list of things to do while spinning for each participant.  Doug's task was to try to sleep which as you will hear, did not work out too well.  In fact, all of the Gravitron experiments produced mixed results which Doug does detail for us.

In the second segment, Marshall called about radiation, habitats, lava tubes and eventually suborbital hops.  After Marshal's call, John from Fremont called to discuss the centrifuge and Doug explained how the crew member could stand up in a centrifuge capsule.  Doug outlined some of the technical issues with the centrifuge, spin rates for the Moon and Mars, and countering the Coriolis Effect as well as why standing in a special centrifuge cubical might be crucial.

John Hunt called to talk about the Coriolis Effect and pointed out that with the rpm there was velocity to consider.  They talked about not moving one's head to counter the Coriolis Effect.  Doug then addressed hydrostatic pressure issues and positions.  Later, Adrianne sent an email asking about pharmaceutical products to counter the Coriolis Effect, specifically referencing Dramamine.  Doug said he did not consider those types of countermeasures because he supported long term space settlement and did not see such pharmaceuticals as being appropriate for dealing with the problem on a long term or sustainable basis. 

Near the end of the program, Doug referenced social problems as a 5th factor and maybe the most significant.  By social factors he meant family separation for several years from spouse and kids plus what may happen with mixed crews in tight quarters for several years at a time.   This was the last topic discussed in our program.

Please post your comments/questions on in the comments section for this archived program on TSS website.  You can email Dr. Plata through me.




Gravitron experiments!

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21 Aug 2016 Dr. Doug Plata
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