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Dr. William (Bill) Rowe, Sunday, 1-19-14 January 20, 2014

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Dr. William (Bill) Rowe, Sunday, 1-19-14


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Guest:  Dr. William (Bill) Rowe.  Topics:  Dr. Rowe’s hypothesis regarding EVAs, heart rate, shortness of breath, dehydration.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm

We welcomed back Dr. Bill Rowe for this 2 hour 3 minute discussion regarding his hypothesis about Neil Armstrong’s hear rate while on EVA on the surface of the Moon and just before reentry.  During the first segment, Dr. Rowe explained his hypothesis, his having gotten specific information about Neil Armstrong on the Moon through the Freedom of Information Act, and more.  At times, Dr. Rowe’s discussion was technical using medical terminology but our guest was careful to explain everything to us using layman terminology as well.  Bill referenced several papers on his website:  1) www.femsinspace.com/ARMSTRONG_LAST_LUNAR_20_MINUTES_PAPER.pdf; 2)  www.femsinspace.com/Armsrtong_moonwalk_and_Spashdown.pdf; 3) www.femsinspace.com/exercise.htm; 4)  www.femsinspace.com/apollo15.htm.  I urge you to visit these pages for additional & supplemental information for today’s discussion.  During this fist segment, Bill put forth his hypothesis based on the information he received about Armstrong on the Moon and from what he knows about generally accepted cardiac conditions, facts, treatments, and risks.  He received several listener emails with questions and a call from Doug in S. California who is a medical doctor.  In summary, Dr. Rowe’s hypothesis was based on Neil having a very high heart rate on the Moon during EVA of 160 bpm.  Upon reentry to Earth three days later, according to the information, Neil’s heart rate was 61-62 bpm.  Dr. Rowe used this segment to explain the significance of these heart rate numbers, the risks associated with them, and what it likely meant was going on with Armstrong from a cardiac and medical perspective.  Dr. Rowe then postulated a care and management protocol for EVAs, what to do if shortness of breath is reported by the astronaut, the use of IV fluids to combat dehydration, spacesuit fluids & cooling, and more. 

In the second segment, Dr. Rowe continued taking listener questions, he spoke about his peers and their reception to his hypothesis, the publication of his hypotheses in reviewed journals and his upcoming presentation on this subject at a major international conference in Dubai.  Listeners asked about cosmonaut medial information as well as the same regarding the Chinese.  Bill commented on how good the Russian information was but he did not know very much about the Chinese taikonauts and their medical information.  He talked more about Armstrong’s information, he introduced us to the term “confounder” and he talked about the lunar regolith being loaded with iron and what this probably means for astronaut health given iron being a toxic.  He talked about a few of his articles on his website, all of which are listed above.  Later he talked about some of Astronaut Jim Irwin’s medical information from his being on the Moon and the reentry G force of about 7 G’s.  As our program was ending, Bill summarized his hypothesis for us and said this opens the door for much needed further research. 

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Rowe can be reached through his own website.



1. Robert Walker - January 21, 2014

Thanks, enjoyed the show, lots of really interesting information which i didn’t know. Totally agree that NASA should release basic astronaut medical information such as resting heart rate and heart rates during EVA.

After all everything they do during an EVA is videoed anyway, they are so much in public eye already and is hardly a breach of patient confidentiality especially if they are asked to give their consent to release the information (could do it so astronauts can optionally withdraw consent – if it is voluntary consent – imagine most astronauts would give consent in interests of medical science).

Had a basic understanding that astronauts in the ISS have various medical issues such as bone less etc, but had no idea until listening to this show about all those other issues such as magnesium loss, raised adrenaline, raised resting heart rate, liver and kidney and digestion issues etc etc.

One thing I wondered is if we have enough data – or could have if NASA released it – from the missions on the lunar surface to see if lunar gravity is less dangerous medically long term than zero g.

I imagine probably not but would be interested to hear what an expert says.

Is one big missing data point I think – that we know a lot about medical effects of zero g, and of course know about full 1 g and greater than 1 g on Earth – but know almost nothing about intermediate e.g. lunar or Martian g.

The obvious thing to do is to do tethered artificial gravity experiments in space, also to fly a centrifuge sleeping quarters to the ISS for astronauts as in the Nautilus-X plans, seems to me that should be a high priority thing to do over many of the other things we are doing in space if interested in humans staying in space long term or doing interplanetary travel.

Can do two things at once that way. Learn how well humans can adapt to Coriolis forces in a long term stay in artificial g, and how much they can tolerate living day after day in artificial g – so how small the hab can be or how short the tether – and also get data points about lunar gravity and intermediate gravity medical effects.

Anyway interested to know – if you think that is a useful thing to do medically (would imagine so) and if there could be enough data from the lunar excursions to have any idea yet about the effects of lunar g for long term stays on the Moon – would we need to e..g add sleep centrifuges or internal rotating quarters to habs habs on the Moon to increase the g levels for long term health.

I’d ring or email during the show but the thing is that I listen to the shows after the event rather than live. Anyway great show!

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