The wonders and challenges of human spaceflight
Professor Simon Evetts talked about the effects of human spaceflight on the body at the two-day ‘Wonders and Challenges of Human Spaceflight’ conference held at London’s Science Museum recently. The event was hosted by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in partnership with the UK Space Agency to address the contemporary challenges and the history of human experience in Space.
In exploring the many dimensions of human spaceflight, the conference focused on the culinary, ethical, medical, psychological, and sensory effects of Space on humans. Simon presented the effects of prolonged weightlessness on the body, how we currently combat these changes and how we might consider countering them in the future.
In particular, he discussed how simulation and training prepares astronauts for the experience of micro-gravity, introducing the capabilities of Blue Abyss.
Other speakers included psychologists, philosophers and neuroscientists plus celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, who crafted foods for British astronaut Tim Peake to enjoy in Space. Nutrition in Space and how we might enhance the experience of Space food, was a popular topic. Alongside closed life support systems, radiation, and on-ground preparation for Space travel, particularly in relation to Space tourism.
The conference provided a means of sharing ideas between human spaceflight disciplines. The presentations provided the audience with perspectives from each discipline – what human spaceflight does to the mind and body, what sort of R&D is undertaken, and some of the philosophical considerations with regards to humanity's involvement in this challenging but groundbreaking field which has such importance for our future,” Simon says.
Simon represented Blue Abyss and our research affiliate, SeaSpace Research, but also the Human Spaceflight Capitalisation Office (HuSCO) at Harwell, for which Blue Abyss is a stakeholder and Simon the founder.
HuSCO is considering holding a follow-up workshop to involve multi-disciplinary experts working together. It would be aimed at identifying suitable human spaceflight related fields for the UK to focus on for the benefit of our society and beyond.
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