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Golem Offline OP
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Jeffrey Kluger
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April 11, 2019

Quote:
Traveling in space looks like all kinds of fun, and in a lot of respects, it isprovided you can overlook a few downsides. Theres the loss of muscle mass, for one thing. Then theres the decalcification of bones and the stress on the heart and the damage to the eyes and the changes in the immune system and the disruption of the genome and an actual shortening of your overall life expectancy.

It was, in part, to study all of those biological problems that astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days in space from 2015 to 2016 (chronicled in TIMEs Emmy-nominated series A Year in Space). Now, just over three years after his return, the first tranche of studies into Kellys off-world marathon has been published in Science. The results are mixed Kelly fared better than expected on some measures and worse on others. The overall conclusion is less ambiguous: space travel is exceedingly hard on the human body, and we have a lot to learn before were ready to start living on the moon or Mars.

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No, not space travel: Most of the bad effects are because of microgravity. We have no idea of the moon's or Mar's gravity is enough to alleviate those effects. But any space colony could rotate to create any simulated gravity we need.

The other source of possible health problems is the increased radiation in space. But with proper shielding, on a spacecraft, the moon, or Mars, that problem could be removed. The space station is NOT a very good shield because all the parts have to be light weight. A Mars or lunar colony would use underground spaces that would have great shielding. Any long-term space colony could use lunar or asteroid material as shielding.

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Carpal Tunnel
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Sad, isn't it, that the human race probably won't survive to see those things.


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All it needs is will and we could do it really quick. If some nation decided to devote a big chunk of change, they could create a lunar colony with existing technology. Hell, we went to the moon 50 years ago! Just think of the progress we have made since 1969. Or if there was financial incentive for it, some corporation would do it. Like maybe that corporation that was talking about capturing a platinum-rich asteroid last year.

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Carpal Tunnel
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Too much money, too little return. And probably not much time either.

Twelve years, the experts say, until until global warming becomes unstoppable. I suspect our fate is already sealed. The moon and Mars are unlikely to save us. Maybe, if we pull off a miracle and save this planet, in a few hundred years we might be able to address interplanetary travel again.


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12 years until we enter an unstoppable warm period. Not 12 years and everybody dies. Civilization will not stop because we are warmer. There will be a lot of dislocation as some areas become unlivable, but other areas become arable. Canada, Siberia, Scandinavia, and Argentina could actually benefit. Less wheat and more corn in US agriculture, but way more wheat in Canada. Florida will be all gators and skeeters: Sorry about that.

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Carpal Tunnel
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You forgot the snakes. But it's already like that.

We could mitigate climate change AND explore space.

But there would need to be a political will to move forward in dramatic leaps and bounds. I just don't see it happening.


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I'm predicting that with more swamp, the gators will eat most of the snakes. Tastes like chicken, you know! And I've been to a gator show: Gators love chicken.

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Pythons are eating up everything in the everglades including the gators. We haven't got 'em here yet but it's only a matter of time.


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I'm sure it's a contest for top of the food chain. Big pythons eat small gators, and big gators eat small pythons. But you are right: Once a python gets it's mouth over a gator's snout, it's all over for Mr. Gator. They have terrific bite pressure but I heard their jaw-opening muscles are so weak a human can hold their mouth shut...If he's a fool, of course.

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