gists can conduct experiments in living organismsin the weightless state, for example.
byrecovering the specimens and comparing theirfindings with the immense amount of data theyhave already collected on earth, where gravity
they can find out just what
zero gravity are.
g” means that a gravitational force pro-ducing an acceleration of approximately
constantly pulling everything towardthe center of the earth.
the force of grav-ity at the earth’s surface.
known livingforms have evolved in
pull because it
life.By substituting centrifugal force for accel-eration, scientists can study most
effectsof gravity on living organisms right here onearth-but only from
g” upward on the scale,that
for forces greater than gravity at thesurface of
biologists ask: “What
life on earthwere to experience some other gravitational level,from
down to zero? Would
have anyprofound effect on
development?Where canwe find out what will happen to living organisms
we were to remove gravity altogether?”Themeans of finding the answers
free fall of the satellite that pro-vides the weightless laboratory. At the distancethe Biosatellite will be orbiting, there
of the earth’s gravity, but, since the accelerationof the orbiting Biosatellite equals the accelerationof the earth’s gravity, it
doesnot tumble (move around any of
as to experience an accelerationany greaieverything
Previous flights of men, plants and animalshave demonstrated that an absence of gravita-tional stress can be tolerated for a few dayswithout dramatic
effects. But there
reasonto believe that more extended journeys mayraise formidable problems.There
evidence that the bones and musclesmay weaken because of inaction, and calcium
may result.There may
some deteriora-tion in the blood-circulating system which nor-mally works against gravity. On
long spacejourney, the heart muscles may undergo
oftone because of disuse and fail under
stressof re-entry. Prolonged absence of sensation inthe inner ear and weight-bearing muscles mayhave an adverse effect on maintaining normalbalance and coordination.Long periods of confinement, isolation andmonotony of the space journey may have seriouseffects on brain functioning and may weaken aperson’s ability to concentrate and makedecisions.Another vital problem in prolonged spaceflight
radiation. Solar or sun flares can makethe amount many times greater in local areas thanwould normally be anticipated. Although solarflares are unpredictable, their high energy par-
are a constant hazard to manned spaceflight. Therefore,
Biosatellite will use aradiation source which will approximate
radi-ation dosage range to which astronauts might be
these two factors, radiation and weight-lessness, are combined, the effect of their work-ing together may be “synergistic” (that
muchgreater than expected from their simple addi-tion), or antagonistic.
Prolonged weightlessness may cause
calcium in bonestructure, weakening
muscles, deterioration in the blood-circulating system. Prolonged exposure to radiation
ahazard which may be complicated by weightlessness.