The Moon is seen rising above NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard at Launch Pad


Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Space exploration stepped up a notch with the successful launch of Nasa‘s Artemis 1 rocket. The ISS has clocked up almost 9000 days in orbit. More than 500 people have been into space since Yuri Gagarin in 1961. Now with ever improved rocket technology, we are looking to travel even further.

Scientists are predicting a manned Mars mission in the next 20 years. One issue facing such long space flights (How will these intrepid astronauts manage to medicate themselves? Dr. Thais Russomano, professor of space physiology says that in space each human cell and how it operates changes. Changes in blood flow and other physiological processes mean that drug doses administered on earth will not translate into those needed at zero gravity.




Another issue will be how to produce drugs in space? Many drugs will have reached their expiry dates by the time any spacecraft reached Mars. Also there would not be sufficient storage space to carry all the potential drug treatments that the astronauts may require. This means that Mars-bound astronauts may need the ability to produce medications in deep space.


At UC Davis, researchers have already genetically modified lettuce to synthesise a drug to protect against bone density loss. It is expected that a space crew could travel with a bank of genes that could be injected into lettuce seeds when a new drug had to be synthesised.

Development of innovations for space travel have resulted in technologies in use on earth today such as cocker implants and artificial limbs.

Despite continuing conflict on planet Earth, in space humanity has managed to cooperate internationally. We have  expanded  our horizons beyond our small blue planet. Consistent international cooperation has been facilitated by 100,000’s of dedicated scientists and engineers and, in turn, their work has been assisted by teams  of professional dedicated translators and interpreters.


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