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article imageOp-Ed: Antibodies in space — Problems may force change in space travel

By Paul Wallis     May 22, 2011 in Science
New research is showing that new techniques for prolonged space flight are essential. Antibodies produced in space lack the quality of those produced on Earth's gravity and may expose space travellers to disease and other medical conditions.
French research has shown that antibody production in space is inferior to that on Earth. This means that astronauts (another antiquated term indicative of a stagnant culture) may be exposed to higher levels of infection and ineffective immune responses. It was found that immune system efficiency was much higher, and antibodies were produced much more effectively in a gravity environment.
For those living in the 21st century, the ongoing spectacle of “rocket science” in the form of inefficient 5% payloads is ridiculous and obscene. Far better options have existed for decades.
This may surprise someone coming to terms with the Earth being round and the fact that human beings aren’t designed for zero gravity conditions, but nobody else. The medical issues related to space travel have been almost entirely ignored. The notorious “leaky astronaut” syndrome, in which weightless blood vessels leak blood and muscle deterioration follows, has been known since the original space programs.
This pitiful level of response to a critical issue is a weather report for an unchanging, comatose technological culture in which rockets, the single most inefficient possible means of space travel, have been the norm.
Not only is the “space industry”, which is apparently comprised of brain dead geriatrics, persisting with rockets as the only vehicle class, but all other technological innovation has also been steadfastly resisted. That’s been obstructing essential developments in space and other technology. Recently declassified government documents on the subject of antigravity have added more weight to the demand for information regarding this technology. (Bear with the video associated with the above link, because it’s a good indicator of the depth of feeling among space aficionados about this subject.)
The history of anti-gravity research dates back, if you please, to the 1920s. The real “X Files” have now become accessible, and NASA is under pressure to respond to a Freedom of Information request for technology which it’s now been sitting on for years.
Artificial gravity, of the type required for providing working gravity in spacecraft, has produced some startling ideas, including a spacecraft which literally “somersaults” to provide internal gravity, and a large rotating ring design which provides internal gravity. These ideas got to “artist’s concept” stage, but the field trials have been small, underpublicized and undersold in the market, presumably on the basis of keeping antique manufacturers in business making rockets.
The question is how to unlock the death grip of old technology on space research. It may be the usual case of persuading spoiled brat oil billionaires that they don’t need any more money, or convincing vested interest politicians that more money can be made using modern technology than fossils. The problem is that as usual, the decision-makers don’t have the training or in some cases even the basic levels of education and technological awareness to understand the issues. Trillions of dollars’ worth of space industry business is being left on the back burner while idiots tinker with equipment that belongs in a museum, not in space.
The options are:
1. Bypass the Freeloaders Nursing Home aka Congress/ industry and get started on private projects, already happening.
2. Start up independent research into space drives, already happening. One of the new drives hopes to reach Mars in 39 days, not 39 months. These drives also reduce the time of exposure to zero g conditions, improving flight conditions and reducing medical problems.
3. Remove the obstructionist lobby, noticeably not happening or even flagged as ever happening.
Let’s get this straight- Humanity is going into space, whether it likes it or not, sooner or later. Sooner is by far the better option. There is no choice. It can do so economically and proficiently, or the way it’s doing things now, extremely badly and almost unbelievably inefficiently.
This is about survival, not keeping lobbyists warm. The Solar System alone contains almost infinite resources. Interstellar space contains more. To hell with the naysayers and hack physicists who can’t read basic equations and come up with idiotic statements like “infinite mass” based on finite integers. Einstein, Schmeinstein. We need interstellar capacity. High efficiency drives are the key to successful space travel. That’s what’s required, and that’s what has to happen.
The rule has to be- “As fast as possible, as quickly as possible”. When you hit light speed, just hit the accelerator. If the universe doesn’t like it, it can get out of the bloody way.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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