Humanity has always been trying to investigate nature and discover new things and phenomena. The thrill of knowledge and cognition resulted in numerous discoveries that altered the way we evolved. Moreover, to understand the origin of a certain phenomenon, its main characteristics, and processes peculiar to it, an efficient cognition tool and background information were needed. For this reason, people cultivated knowledge and observed things that surrounded them, creating new tools, and exploring new theories. Due to the continuous search for new facts, humanity was able to investigate nature and find answers to a number of crucial questions describing different dimensions and processes. However, space, as one of the greatest mysteries, remains almost uninvestigated because of its inaccessibility, complexity, and infinity. Despite the fact that there have always been numerous attempts to explore space, even now, we are almost helpless because of physical limits that exist in our Universe.
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The second half of the past century was characterized by the increased interest in space, its investigation, and exploration. The appearance of new technologies like first computers, jet engines, navigation tools, etc. seemed to hasten our victory and introduce a new era of space travel. Humanity had all rights to think in this way as there were several outstanding events like the first cosmic flight, or landing on the Moon, which gave hope to all scientists and dreamers. These flights were considered the harbingers of revolution in space exploration, and humanity was ready to land on other planets of the Solar system. However, very soon, scientists understood that we were almost just as helpless as our predecessors were centuries ago. Space is infinite, and giant distances could hardly be covered using traditional approaches. The need for a new idea became obvious.
At the moment, scientists are focused on the creation of the theoretical framework for long-distance space flights that will be able to reach at least Mars and help people to explore the Solar system. Additionally, the current stage of the evolution of science contributed to the improved understanding that only in case the light velocity is gained, humanity will be able to leave the Solar system (Hadhazy, 2015). However, this fact introduces new limits and frames related to human anatomy and the ability to live beings to experience g-forces and physical phenomena that appear when the given speed is gained (Tyson, Simons, & Liu, 2016). That is why there are at list two major tasks that modern scientists face. The first one is to find a way to transport us to other galaxies, and the second is to guarantee that we will survive during this very journey.
Nevertheless, at the moment, there are several space programs aiming at the preparation of the first cosmic flight to Mars. The main aim of these very programs is to investigate the most crucial factors that will impact astronauts during the flight and determine the physiological ramifications of space travel on the members of the crew (Missions to Mars,” n.d.). At this very point, the majority of investigators agree that there are several main aspects that should be given the greatest attention (“Missions to Mars,” n.d). These are g-forces that impact astronauts, long duration of the flight, and its negative effect on individuals, high level of stress, zero gravity, and processes that might occur if light velocity is gained. The consideration of all these facts is crucial for the future development of the given sphere as it will provide the basis for safe space travels and guarantee that people will survive.
As mentioned above, the impact of zero gravity is one of the most important factors that should be considered when speaking about the physiological ramifications of space travel on humans. For instance, according to the latest calculations, the journey to Mars could take from 150 to 300 days (“Missions to Mars,” n.d.). The number depends on numerous characteristics like the launch speed, planets location, etc. Besides, it is long-term travel and people will obviously suffer from a lack of physical activity. It will also have a negative effect on the state of their muscles and health. Though, Valeriy Polyakov, who holds a record for the longest spaceflight in human history (437 days 18 hours), proves that it still remains possible (“Astronaut Statistics,” n.d.); however special physical exercises are needed. The given problem is significant, but there are some possible solutions that could help to mitigate the negative impact zero gravity has on people.
Another significant aspect is the problem of age. As we already know, the cosmic flight to Mars will take 300 days. Thus, it is one of the closest planets. In case humanity is able to build a spaceship that transports us to planets beyond the Solar system using jet engines, the given journey might take years. For this reason, the given question becomes especially significant. Growing people will also suffer from diseases peculiar to elderly people. Furthermore, their chances of a successful return will decrease. Finally, they could die in case the journey will take too much time. In this regard, the solution to this very problem is vital for the organization of cosmic flights to other planets. There is the concept of a spaceship which could provide conditions needed for several generations to survive and reach the destination point; however, the given project still remains to complex.
The accumulation of stress is another serious factor that should also be taken into account. Moreover, it should be considered both physiological and psychological one as numerous findings show that stress deteriorates the state of a person and results in the appearance of numerous physiological problems (The Editors of Popular Science, 2017). In case an individual agrees to go to Mars, he/she will have to spend from 150 to 300 days in a confined space under constant surveillance of team members. The fact that there is no possibility to escape, and the slightest mistake might result in the disaster could trigger the development of neurosis and deteriorate the outcomes of the mission. That is why it is another important factor that is taken into account when planning any space mission. Psychological compatibility is crucial under the given conditions; however, one could hardly predict a person’s behavior in case a flight takes more than one year.
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However, if to speak about the attempts to leave our Solar system and reach other galaxies, the issue of the velocity of light and its impact on human beings becomes topical. The fact is that at the moment, we do not possess technologies that could help to accomplish this task. However, supposing that we are able to do it, another problem appears. According to the Relativity Theory and the investigations of the factors accompanying the velocity of light, human bodies will hardly be able to experience it as they are comparatively weak (The Editors of Popular Science, 2017). For instance, when leaving the atmosphere, an astronaut suffers from g-forces, and not everyone could overcome this pressure. Nine G is the maximum available only for trained astronauts dressed in special suits when the majority of people could hardly experience at least five G (The Editors of Popular Science, 2017). However, to gain velocity speed, even more, power is needed, and, as a result, more g-forces will impact a person. It might become a serious barrier for astronauts as the increased pressure will result in problems with blood circulation and deaths. Thus, on the presumption that a solution to this very problem is found, no one knows for sure how a human body will experience the light velocity. There are several assumptions which state that other physical principles should be explored when this very speed is gained, and a human being will hardly survive it (Jha, 2011).
Finally, there are also several other factors that might limit our opportunities and prevent people from the investigation of space. The source of power is another issue that gives rise to numerous concerns. In case we want to achieve distant planets, a huge amount of fuel should be carried. It will obviously make the flight more complicated as additional power to get a spaceship off the ground will be needed (Tyson et al., 2016). Besides, the atomic reactor could be used as an alternative to traditional jet engines as it consumes less fuel and produces more energy. Yet, the usage of radioactive materials in confined space is extremely dangerous as it might result in disaster. That is why there is no single approach to the given problem, and it gives ground for vigorous discussions.
Altogether, delving into the problem of space travels, physiological ramifications they might have on people, and opportunities for the investigation of other galaxies, we could say that there are numerous barriers that might decrease the number of opportunities significantly. Space is infinite, and we are still not able to reach distant galaxies of planets. However, humanity is still looking for new approaches that might help to create the background for the successful space travel to Mars and other objects of the Solar system. The above-mentioned problems should be solved to guarantee that astronauts will survive. Unfortunately, it might take several decades, and we could just dream about space.
Astronaut Statistics. (n.d.). Web.
Hadhazy, A. (2015). How could humans travel safely through space? BBC. Web.
Jha, A. (2011). Why you can’t travel at the speed of light. The Guardian. Web.
Missions to Mars. (n.d.). Web.
The Editors of Popular Science. (2017). Popular science the future of space travel: your new ride to space. New York, NY: Popular Science.
Tyson, N., Simons, J., & Liu, C. (2016). Startalk: everything you ever need to know about space travel, Sci-Fi, the human race, the Universe, and beyond. New York, NY: National Geographic.