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article imageA new look at cyborg astronauts colonizing the solar system

By Andrew Moran     Sep 16, 2010 in Science
Scientists have been warning that humans should look at colonizing the solar system if they want the human species to survive. One of the many problems is the fact that humans may have to alter their biological code.
World renowned scientist, Stephen Hawking, warned that humans may have to leave Earth if they want the species to survive, which has sparked, once again, the debate of human colonization of the solar system.
In the September issue of Endeavour, curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Roger Launius, is now looking at the debate of human colonization of space and the many problems that could be faced in the plight.
According to Space, recent studies by British scientists concluded that bacteria are able to survive in space for approximately 553 days. However, humans, without the technological assistance, are only able to survive space for about a minute and a half.
“If it's about exploration, we're doing that very effectively with robots,” said Launius. “If it's about humans going somewhere, then I think the only purpose for it is to get off this planet and become a multi-planetary species."
What would be the solution then if humans needed to leave Earth? Cyborgs and altering human biology, which are both possible cases.
Internal view of the Stanford torus space station design. Artist s description:  The 1975 NASA Ames/...
Internal view of the Stanford torus space station design. Artist's description: "The 1975 NASA Ames/Stanford University Summer Study worked out the broad engineering requirements for a toroidal shaped space colony design. This painting used the design, but I refused to fill the interior with the 'shopping mall gone mad' clutter of other drawings. Again the challenge of sustaining something like a closed ecosystem was a theme I wanted to emphasize. This design became known as the 'Stanford Torus'
Don Davis
In 1960, Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline published an article titled “Cyborgs and Space.” The article discussed humans adapting to the destination they would be traveling to: “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.”
However, Launius pointed out the ethics and morals behind their theory: “It does raise profound ethical, moral and perhaps even religious questions that haven't been seriously addressed. We have a ways to go before that happens.”
Years after the two scientists’ article was published, NASA conducted research but then halted after a decade because the technology wasn’t available at that time and the question of acceptance among the American people to the “cyborgization of the astronauts’ corps.”
Currently, NASA still hasn’t conducted further research into the human biology of long-term deep space exploration, reports PhysOrg.
Do you think we should continue the human species into outer space? Or should we leave our reckoning to this planet?
More about Cyborg astronauts, Colonization space, NASA
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