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Cyborgs and Space L1.

Altering man's bodily functions to meet the requirements of extraterrestrial

environments would be more logical than providing an earthly environment for him in
space ... Artifact-organism systems which would extend man's unconscious,
self-regulatory controls are one possibility

By Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline

This article is based on a paper presented under the title of "Drugs, Space
and Cybernetics "at the Psych ophysiologica I Aspects of Space Flight
Symposium sponsored by the AF School of Aviation Medicine in San
Antonio, Tex., in May. The complete paper appeared in the Symposium
proceedings, published by Columbia Univ. Press.

Manfred E. CIynes has since

1956 been chief research
SPACE travel challenges mankind not only technologically but also
scientist at Rockland State, in
spiritually, in that it invites man to take an active part in his own biological
charge of the Dynamic
evolution. Scientific advances of the future may thus be utilized to permit
Simulation Lab. A graduate of
man's existence in environments which differ radically from those
the Un iv. of Melbourne,
provided by nature as we know it.
Australia, and bolder of an M.S.
from Juilliard School, he has for
The task of adapting man's body to any environment he may
the past 10 years been engaged
choose will be made easier by increased knowledge of homeostatic
in the design and development
functioning, the cybernetic aspects of which are just beginning to be
of physiological instrumentation
understood and investigated. In the past evolution brought about the
and apparatus, ultrasonic
altering of bodily functions to suit different environments. Starting as of
transducers, and electronic
now, it will be possible to achieve this to some degree without alteration
data-processing systems.
of heredity by suitable biochemical, physiological, and electronic
modifications of man's existing modus vivendi.
Nathan S. Kline has been
director of research at Rockland
Homeostatic mechanisms found in organisms are designed to
State since 1952 and an assistant
provide stable operation in the particular environment of the organism.
professor of clinical psychiatry
Examples of three successful alternate solutions provided by biological
at the Columbia Univ. College
mechanisms to the body-environment problem with regard to operating
of Physicians and Surgeons
temperature are man, hibernating animals, and poikilothermic fish
since 1957. Author of more than
(organisms with blood that take on the temperature of the environment).
100 papers, Dr. Kline holds a
New York Newspaper Guild
Various biological solutions have also been developed for
Page One Award in science, the
another problem-respiration. Mammals, fish, insects, and plants each have
Adolph Meyer Award of the
a different solution with inherent limitations but eminently suitable for
Assn. for Improvement of
their field of operation. Should an organism desire to live outside this
Mental Health, and the Albert
field, an apparently "insurmountable" problem exists.
Lasker Award of the American
Public Health Association.
However, is the problem really insurmountable? If a fish wished
to live on land, it could not readily do so. If, however, a particularly
intelligent and resourceful fish could be found, who had studied a good
deal of biochemistry and physiology, was a master engineer and
cyberneticist, and had excellent lab facilities available to him, this fish

Repritiled fro m ASTRONAUTICS, Scptember, 1960)

only temporizing, and dangerous temporizing at that,
since we place ourselves in the same Position as a

taking a small quantity of water along with him to

live on land. The bubble all too easily bursts.
The biological problems which exist in
space travel are many and varied. Long-term space
voyages, involving flights not of days, months or
years, but Possibly of several thousand years, will
eventually be hard realities, and resultant
physiological and psychological conditions must be
These are reviewed below. In some cases,
we have proposed solutions which probably could be
devised with presently available knowledge and
techniques. Other Solutions are projections into the
future which by their very nature must resemble
One of the first Cyborgs, this 220-gm rat science fiction. To illustrate, there may be much more
has under its skin the Rose osmotic pump (shown efficient ways of carrying out the functions of the
in close-up below), designed to permit continuous respiratory system than by breathing, which becomes
injections of chemicals at a slow controlled rate cumbersome in space. One proposed solution for the
into an organism withOUt any attention on the not too distant future is relatively simple: Don't
part of the organism. breathe!
If man attempts partial adaptation to space
conditions, instead of insisting on carrying his whole
environment along with him, a number of new
possibilities appear. One is then led to think about the
incorporation of integral exogenous devices to bring
about the biological changes which might be
necessary in man's homeostatic mechanisms to allow
him to live in space qua natura.
The autonomic nervous system and
endocrine glands cooperate in man to maintain the
multiple balances required for his existence. They do
this without conscious control, although they are
amenable to such influence. Necessary readjustments
of these automatic responses under extraterrestrial
conceivably have the ability to design an instrument conditions require the aid of control theory, as well as
which would allow him to live on land and breathe extensive physiological knowledge.
air quite readily.
In the same manner, it is becoming apparent Cyborg-Frees Man to Explore
that we will in the not too distant future have
sufficient knowledge to design instrumental control What are some of the devices necessary for
-systems which will make it Possible for our bodies creating self-regulating manmachine systems? This
to do things which are no less difficult. self-regulation must function without the benefit of
The environment with which man is now consciousness in order to cooperate with the body's
concerned is that of space. Biologically, what are the own autonomous homeostatic controls. For the
changes necessary to allow man to live adequately in exogenously extended organizational
the space environment? Artificial atmospheres
encapsulated in some sort of enclosure constitute
complex functioning as an inte- The combination of an osmotic
grated homeostatic system un- pressure pump capsule with sensing Psycho-Physiological
consciously, we propose the term and controlling mechanisms can form Problems
"Cyborg." The Cyborg deliberately a con-tinuous control loop which will Let us now turn our attention to
incorporates exoge-nous components act as an adjunct to the body's own some of the special physiological and
extending the self-regulatory control autonomous controls. In this manner, psychologi-cal problems involved in
function of the organism in order to these controls can be changed to the space travel, and see how Cyborg dy-
adapt it to new environments. desired per-formance characteristics namics may help achieve better
If man in space, in addition to under various environmental condi- understanding and utilization of
flying his vehicle, must con-tinuously tions. If these characteristics were man's natural abilities.
be checking on things and making determined, such a sys-tem would be
adjustments merely in order to keep possible today with the selection of Wakefulness. For flights of
himself alive, he becomes a slave to appro-priate drugs. relatively short or moderate du-
the ma-chine. The purpose of the Cy- ration-a few weeks or even a few
borg, as well as his own ho-meostatic For example, systolic blood months-it would appear desirable to
systems, is to provi-de an pressure may be sensed, com-pared keep the astronaut continuously
organizational sys-tem in which such to a reference value based on the awake and fully alert. The extension
robot-like problems are taken care of space conditions en-countered, and of normal functioning through the
automatically and unconsciously, regulated by letting the difference use of that group of drugs known as
leaving man free to explore, to between sensed and reference psychic energizers, with ad-junctive
create, to think, and to feel. pressures control administration of medication, for this purpose is a
an adrenergic or vasodilator drug. Of present-day real-ity. In flights lasting
One device helpful to con- course, any such system presupposes a month or two, no more than a few
sideration of the construction of that we would be cognizant of what hours a day of sleep would be requir-
Cyborgs, which is already a-vailable, optimum blood pressure would be ed in the normal environment if such
is the ingenious osmo-tic pressure under various space conditions. drugs were employed. Tests indicate
pump capsule de-veloped by S. Rose efficiency tends to increase, rather
for conti-nuous slow injections of While it is quite difficult to set than decrea-se, under such a regime,
bio-chemically active substances at a up per limits to "natural" human and extended usage appears entirely
biological rate. The capsule is physiological and psy-chological feasible.
incorporated into the organism and performance, we can take as minimal Radiation Effects. One sub-
allows administration of a selected the capabilities demonstrated under system of the Cyborg would involve
drug at a particular or-gan and at a control conditions such as yoga or a sensor to detect radia-tion levels
continuous vari-able rate, without hypnosis. The imagination is and an adaptation of the Rose
any attention on the part of the stretched by the muscular con-trol of osmotic pump which would
organism. which even the under-graduate at a automatically inject pro-tective
Yoga College is capable, and pharmaceuticals in ap-propriate
Capsules are already avail-able hypnosis per se may prove to have a doses. Experiments at the AF School
which will deliver as little as 0.01 definite place in space travel, of Aviation Me-dicine already
ml/day for 200 days, and there is no although there is much to be learned indicate an in-crease in radiation
reason why this time could not be about the phenomena of dis- resistance re-sulting from combined
extended con-siderably. The sociation, generalization of ins- admi-nistration of aminoethylisothio-
apparatus has al-ready been used on tructions, and abdication of executive roninm and cysteine to mon-keys.
rabbits and rats, and for continuous control. Metabolic Problems and Hy-
hepa-rin injection in man. No un- pothermic Controls. In the case of
toward general effect on health was We are now working on a new prolonged space flight, the estimated
noted when the injector was buried in preparation which may greatly consumption of 10 lb a day for
animals. As long as five years ago, enhance hypnotizability, so that human fuel-2 lb of oxygen, 4 lb of
an injector 7 cm long and 1.4 cm in pharmacological and hypnotic fluid, and 4 lb of food-poses a major
diame-ter, weighing 15 gm, was suc- approaches may be symbiotically pro-blem. During a flight of a year or
cessfully buried under the skin of rats combined. longer, assuming that the ve-hicle
weighing 150-250 gin. The photo on was operating satisfactori-ly, there
Page 27 shows a rat weighing 220 would be little or no rea
gm with an injector in situ.
CYBORGS & SPACE perature, certain enzyme systems
son for the astronaut to be awake for would tend to remain more active Muscular Maintenance.
long periods unless some emergency than others. The extent to which Prolonged sleep or limited acti,. ity
arose. Hypo-thermia (reduc-tion of pharmaceutical or chemical agents has a deleterious effect on muscle
body temperature) would appear to could influ-ence this enzyme activity tone. While reduction of body
be a desir-able state in such long has not been systematically inves- temperature and metabo. lism may
voya-ges in order to reduce me- tigated, but beyond question they will reduce the magnitude of the problem,
tabolism, and thus human "fuel" play an important role. Since further investi-gation of the chemical
consumption. The use of exter-nal metabolism is subject to enzyme reasons for atrophy appears
cooling, reduc-tion of the control, several intri-guing necessary to develop adequate
temperature of the blood in an possibilities exist. For example, it pharmaceuti. cal protection to help
arterio-venous shunt, and hiber- may be possible through in vitro maintain muscle tone on prolonged
nation (through pituitary con-trol), radiation to convert certain space voyages.
alone or in combination with organisms from aerobic to anaerobic Perceptual Problems. Lack of
pharmaceuticals, all seem to offer states and, by studying changes in the atmosphere will create markedly
possibilities in attempting to obtain enzyme systems, to adapt them for different conditions of visual
and maintain such a state. Con-trol of eventual human use. In the same perception than those with which we
the tempera-ture by influencing the manner, selected atmos-pheres of are familiar. Attention should be
heat-re-gulating center would be other types could be investigated. given to providing a medium which
more desirable than changing the re- would recreate some of the
ference level. Vestibular Function. Diso- distortions to which we are
Oxygenization and Carbon rientation or discomfort resulti-ng accustomed, and to which the
Dioxide Removal. Breathing in space from disturbed vestibular function astronaut could become acclimated
is a pro-blem because the space due to weightlessness might be before takeoff. Part of the problem
environment will not provide the handled through the use of drugs, by would come from searching for an
necessary oxygen, and respiration temporarily draining off the adequate frame of reference, and in
eliminates need-ed carbon dioxide endolymphatic fluid or, alternately, this regard the factors which in-
and involves heat and water losses. filling the cavities completely, and fluence autokinesis (and illusory
An inverse fuel cell, capable of other techniques involving chemical movement) may have an in-fluence
reducing C02 to its components with control. Hypnosis may also be useful on space perception problems.
removal of the carbon and recir- for controlling vestibular function. Investigation of whe-ther
culation of the oxygen, would pharmaceuticals would in-fluence
eliminate the necessity for lung Cardiovascular Control The autokinesis is therefore desirable.
breathing. Such a sys-tem, ope-rating application of control-system theory
either on solar or nuclear energy, to biology has already yielded Pressure. Under pressure lower
would replace the lung, making sufficiently fruitful re-sults in studies than 60 min Hg, man' s blood begins
breathing, as we know it, of the multiple homeostatic functions to boil at his normal body
unnecessary. Conventional brea-thing of the cardiovascular system to indi- temperature. Therefore, if he is to
would still be possible, should the cate the possibility of altering the venture out of his space vehicle
environment permit it, discontinuing system by the Cyborg tech-nique. without a pressure suit, some means
the fuel-cell operation. Administration of pres-ently must be found of reducing his nor-
Fluid Intake and Out-put. Fluid available drugs, such as epinephrine, mal operating temperature to a point
balance in the astronaut could be reserpine, digitalis, amphetamine, where the vapor pressure of his fluids
largely maintained via a shunt from etc., by means of Rose injectors, is no greater than the internal tissue
the ureters to the venous circulation offers one possi-bility of changing pressures. This is another reason why
after removal or conversion of the cardio-vascular functions so as to lowering of body temperature is
noxious subs-tances. Sterilization of fit them for a particular environ- essential to avoid the use of
the gas-trointestinal tract, plus intra- ment. Alteration of the specific constricting pressure suits.
venous or direct intragastric feeding, homeostatic references within or
could redu-ce fecal eli-mination to a outside the brain, and electric Variations in External
minimum, and even this might be stimulation, either as a means of Temperature. While man will require
reutilized. regulating heart rate or affecting the protection of a space ship or
Enzyme Systems. Under selected brain centers in order to station at the real extremes of
conditions of lowered body tem- control cardio-vascular func-tioning, temperature, there
are other possibilities.

are also likely to be intermediate "desire for action." The structuring of electronically seems the best
conditions within or close to the situations so that action has a solution.
limits of human tolerance. By meaningful sensory feedback should Other Problems
controlling reflection and absorption reduce these difficulties. Here again There obviously exists an
by means of pro-tective plastic drugs could play a useful role in equally large number of medical
sponge clothing plus chemicals reducing resultant tensions. Action problems amenable to
already in exis-tence which produce without demonstration that such pharmacological influence whi-ch
changes in pigmentation and provide behavior is purposeful or sensory have not been discussed here for lack
effective protection against acti-nic stimuli without op-portunity for of space. Among these are such
rays, it should be possible to appropriate response are both highly conditions as nausea, vertigo, motion
maintain desired body tem-perature. disturbing. sickness, erotic requirements,
Needed is a light-sen-sitive, Psychoses. Despite all the care vibration toleran-ce, etc.
chemically regu-lated system which exercised, there remains a strong However, those selected for
would adjust to its own reflectance possibility that some-where in the discussion offer an indication as to
so as to main-tain the temperature course of a long space voyage a what the Cyborg can mean in terms
desired. psychotic episode might occur, and of space travel. Although some of the
Gravitation. A change in the this is one condition for which no proposed solutions
ratio of gravity and inertia forces to ser-vomechanism can be completely may appear fanciful, it should be
molecular forces will alter mobility designed at the present time. While noted that there are references in the
patterns, among other things. Body an emergency osmotic pump Soviet techni-cal literature to
temperature control and other uses of containing one of the high-potency research in many of these same areas.
pharmaceuticals could possibly phenothiazines to-gether with Thus we find the Russians proposing
improve functioning under reserpine could be a part of the prior oxygen saturation as a so-lution
conditions of greater or lesser complete space man's kit, the to the problem of respiration during
gravitation than that on earth. frequent denial by an individual the first few minutes after space
Magnetic Fields. Chemicals and undergoing a psy-chotic episode that vehicle laun-chings; reporting on
temperature alteration might also act his thought processes, emotions, or alterations of the vestibular function
to retard or facili-tate the specific behavior are abnormal, might keep both by drugs and surgery; studying
effects of magnetic fields in space. him from voluntarily accepting me- perception and carrying out re-search
Sensory Inuariance and Action dication. For this reason, if on the laws of eye mo-tion in vision;
Deprivation. Instead of sensory monitoring is adequate, provi-sion finding that lo-wering of temperature
deprivation, it is sensory invariance, should be made for trigger-ing can aid in solving pressure problems;
or lack of change in sensory stimuli, administration of the medi-cation etc.
which may be the astronaut's remotely from earth or by a Solving the many tech-
bugaboo. In most of the sensory companion if there is a crew on the nological problems involved in
deprivation expe-riments to date, it vehicle. manned space flight by adapt-ing
has been sensory invariance which Limbo. The contingency of man to his environment, rather than
has produced discomfort and, in possible extreme pain or suf-fering as vice versa, will not only mark a
extreme circumstances, led to the a result of unforeseen accidents must significant step forward in man's
occurrence of psychotic- like states. also be con-sidered. The astronaut scientific progress, but may well
Of even greater sig-nificance may be should therefore be able to elect a provide a new and larger dimension
action in-variance, deprivation or state of unconsciousness if he feels it for man's spirit as well.
limita-tion, since in many such expe- to be necessary. Prolonged sleep
riments subjects have mentioned a induced either pharmacologi-cally or


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