Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/midday/public_html/wp-content/plugins/really-simple-facebook-twitter-share-buttons/really-simple-facebook-twitter-share-buttons.php on line 318
NASA prepares Orion capsule while space diet is discussed. The Orion capsule is part of the U.S. space agency’s ambitious plan to one day reach Mars.
Currently, the crew module pressure vessel is hosted at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. NASA moved the pressure vessel from the Michoud Assembly Facility, Louisiana. At the new location, thousands of parts will arrive during the following 18 months. Lockheed engineers and NASA engineers will be working relentlessly to fit the crew module with all the technology it needs.
The necessary controls for flight, power storage, flight software, communication software and board computers are expected to be installed in the following 18 months. At this time, the Orion capsule is 500 pounds lighter after the conclusion of the test flight conducted in December 2014.
As the fitting phase concludes, the Orion crew capsule will be tested at several NASA facilities across the U.S. Provided the tests yield stellar results, the Orion capsule is expected to embark on its first mission. The first mission should launch in 2018 and see the Orion capsule circle the Moon before it comes back home. A second mission should launch in 2023, being the first manned mission for the crew capsule.
The Orion capsule was initially designed to aid the U.S. space agency achieve an ambitious target: deep space exploration with manned missions landing on the Red Planet. NASA isn’t letting this goal out of its sight. However, the otherwise exciting perspective of one day landing a manned mission on Mars has recently met with increasing criticism.
The plan was touted as elusive and inconclusive and the Journey to Mars as a strategy that lacks substance. Budget cuts and several other impediments are also helping to reshape the initial focus of the Orion capsule. Against this background, NASA prepares Orion capsule while space diet is discussed. As we stated, NASA isn’t losing sight of a manned mission to the Red Planet employing the Orion crew capsule.
A team of scientists from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a review of a potential space diet on January 7th. Deep space exploration entails a considerably longer time spent in space than ever before. The longest stay in space until now is one year long. In addition, the International Space Station isn’t the Red Planet.
While food experiments conducted on the International Space Station are crucial for a better understanding of a space diet, several points of concern remain. Beyond the International Space Station, a manned mission could experience different radiation levels. Other factors linked with a three-year duration of a manned mission to the Red Planet raise questions as to the adequate space diet for astronauts.
Long term space flight and its consequences of the human body and mind are very little understood. There isn’t sufficient evidence to support the validity of a space diet for longer than one year. In addition, there’s no telling of the long-term effects.
Nonetheless, the review looked at the NASA reports space flight imposed risks. The research team found many of the arguments to be perfectly valid. However, some nutritional guidelines were found to be faulty and not in line with the latest available research.
It’s clear that further studies concerning an adequate space diet for prolonged manned missions in deep space are needed. The success of a manned mission to the Red Planet depends on this aspect as much as on any technological aspect.
Working on the Orion capsule should be complemented by promoting the health of astronauts who will embark on the crew capsule for a longer space flight. As such, NASA prepares Orion capsule while space diet is discussed.
Currently, the Orion capsule is secured in the birdcage as the test stand is known. Its upcoming integration with the Space Launch System rocket is among the most exciting steps taken in the direction of a manned mission in deep space.
Photo Credits: Flickr