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View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (part 3) (16 comments)

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  •  I'm Curious About The Low G Physiology (0+ / 0-)

    Of living in 1/7th g and what that would do to the human body. I'm pretty sure it would change a lot and quickly. I'd think that you'd lose muscle mass quickly so that the babes would be anorexic looking and the guys sickly thin in a very short time - like a year, say.

    Also pretty sure that coming back to earth would be impossible about as readily. Makes for a good story and Heinlein didn't have the Russian cosmonauts experience to fall back on.

    The record spaceflight was 437.7 days by Valeri Polyakov. Heinlein had the right idea with the Russian influence, eh?

    Upon landing, Polyakov opted not to be carried the few feet between the Soyuz capsule and a nearby lawn chair, instead walking the short distance. In doing so, he wished to prove that humans could be physically capable of working on the surface of Mars after a long-duration transit phase.

    Polyakov volunteered for his 437 day flight to learn how the human body would respond to the micro-gravity environment on long-duration missions to Mars. Upon returning from his second spaceflight, Polyakov held the record for the most total time in space. This record, however, was later broken by Sergei Krikalev. Data from Polyakov's flight has been utilized by researchers to determine that humans are able to maintain a healthy mental state during long-duration spaceflight just as they would on Earth.

    Polyakov underwent medical assessments before, during, and after the flight. He also underwent two follow-up examinations six months after returning to Earth. When researchers compared the results of these medical exams, it was revealed that although there were no impairments of cognitive functions, Polyakov experienced a clear decline in mood as well as a feeling of increased workload during the first few weeks of spaceflight and return to Earth.

    However, Polyakov's mood stabilized to pre-flight levels between the second and fourteenth month of his mission. It was also revealed that Polyakov did not suffer from any prolonged performance impairments after returning to Earth. In light of these findings, researchers concluded that a stable mood and overall function could be maintained during extended duration spaceflights, such as manned missions to Mars.Source Wikipedia.

    Now, zero g is not 1/7th g so the effects would be considerably less, maybe way less. Still over a period of years I think the Loonies would have changed a lot more than RAH allowed for.

    "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

    by TerryDarc on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 04:39:44 PM PDT

    •  "It's Great to be Back!" (0+ / 0-)

      Heinlein used this as the basis for an earlier short story titled "It's Great to be Back!"  In it, a couple who have been working on the Moon are happy to return to Earth; but once they get there, they find that they've become so used to Lunar conditions, that life on Earth has become decidedly unpleasant.  In the short story, these are much more trivial, (their feet always hurt under 1G because they've become accustomed to lunar gravity; they find they're more succeptible to colds, etc.) than in MiaHM (where Mannie can walk only with great difficulty and estimates that every day he spends on Terra probably shortens his lifespan by a year).

      As for Heinlein's use of Russian in the Loonie dialect, I'm sure part of it was indeed reflecting the Soviet Union's major role in the early days of space research and exploration; but I suspect another factor was Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, which also used a slangy futuristic language peppered with Russian loan-words.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 08:47:04 PM PDT

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      •  I'm thinking there would be evolutionary changes.. (0+ / 0-)

        ...in not too many generations. Also living sub-surface in tunnels would have to be to a normal, savannah developed homo sapiens, pretty depressing. Polyakov suffered from depression made worse by the close quarters of the space station, so again, the loonies would have had it marginally better.

        On the whole, I think with present day science, we can imagine that there would have been a lot more going on in the bodies and minds of Manny, Wyoh and Mort the wart than the book posits.

        "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

        by TerryDarc on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 04:28:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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