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Joe Carroll, Monday, 11-2-15 November 2, 2015

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Joe Carroll, Monday, 11-2-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2576-BWB-2015-11-02.mp3

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Guest: Joe Carroll. Topics: Artificial gravity, what’s next for human spaceflight? 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. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back to the program Joe Carroll to update us on his work with artificial and partial gravity, plus his thoughtful considerations for what comes next for human spaceflight. I have uploaded three papers of Joe to The Space Show blog for today’s program. He does refer to these papers and presentations during the show so be sure to follow along by viewing them on the blog. During the first segment of our 1 hour 41 minute program, Joe said he preferred using the term partial gravity to artificial gravity. He talked 1 g issues, tests that can be done on the ground and the need to learn about gravity limitations for humans through ISS research. Centrifuge spin rates were a significant discussion topic in this segment. Here, he referred us to Appendix A page 8 for a two page discussion on early research on this subject. See his paper titled “Partial Gravity Biology Research Paper for Space 2015 Final” on TSS blog. Joe referred several times to the Twins & one year cosmonaut/astronaut study underway on the ISS, plus the Gemini 7 mission which answered several important microgravity questions. Later, Joe suggested we look at the chart on the third slide of his Power Point where he showed the gravity factor of major bodies in our solar system. This is an interesting discussion, don’t miss it. It also pointed to the importance of knowing the gravity prescription for Moon-Mars as it covers most of the solar system gravity ranges. Doug sent in an email about spin rates as high as 24 rpm. Don’t miss how Joe responded to Doug who then sent in a clarification email about upright exercise in a short-arm centrifuge. Again, don’t miss Joe’s reply. At this point, Joe started raising questions about why Mars, asking what were the economic reasons. He referenced our National Space Policy from 2010. Joe suggested the direction of the manned program was confusing at best. He talked about the remaining residual from the Apollo momentum and the Outer Space Treaty impact on future human spaceflight. BJohn emailed in about artificial gravity experiments with cubesats.

In the second segment, Tim asked several questions including one about using weighted clothing to offset microgravity. The subject of radiation exposure came up and here, Joe talked about the side effects of “fixes” which may cause even more problems than just the original problem being mitigated. He again referenced the Twin and cosmonaut/astronaut studies on the ISS now underway. Doug called regarding my earlier comments where I reference a past show in which many listeners did not think we needed to know the gravity prescription. Doug corrected what I said about his position but Joe thought there were solid advantages to know the gravity RX and to do so in LEO. You will find this discussion to be very interesting. In the latter part of this segment, we talked about being serious about humans going BLEO if we are not serious about finding out the gravity RX for humans. Safety came up and here Joe had much to say about the approaches regarding Orion and Dragon. Jack emailed in about our lack of seriousness on HSF BELO since we are not trying to learn the human gravity RX for long duration spaceflight or settlement. Joe went so far as to suggest convening a panel discussion to open up the discussion channels on what should be next for HSF. He listed potential participants but also invited listeners to send in to me or post on the blog their suggestions for participants. He said this was the perfect time for such a discussion as we entered the last year of the current administration. Doug sent in the final email saying that the challenge was more about how we go about deciding who’s vision gets the funding, suggesting this challenge took precedent over figuring out the next vision for HSF.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Joe through me.  The papers Joe referenced can be found below.

Ted Hall’s webpage, www.artificial-gravity.com.  His presentations are below:

Partial Gravity Biology Research Paper for Space 2015 Final

Partial Gravity Biology Research Presentation for Space 2015

Design Concepts for a Manned Partial Gravity Research Facility 2010IAC rev 2014July11

Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Dr. Eugene de Juan, Jr., Sunday, 11-23-14 November 24, 2014

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Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Dr. Eugene de Juan, Jr., Sunday, 11-23-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2361-BWB-2014-11-23.mp3

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Guests:  Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Dr. Eugene, de Juan, Jr.  Topics:  Microgravity effects on optic nerve, NSRBI Vision for Mars Challenge, vision issues for long duration spaceflight.  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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed our guests Dr. Dorit Donoviel & Dr. Eugene de Juan, Jr. to discuss the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) “Vision for Mars Challenge: A Unique Opportunity for Ophthalmology Companies.”  Read about this project at http://www.nsbri.org/newsflash/indivArticle.asp?id=454&articleID=212.  For additional information on the grants, visit http://www.smartcap.org.  I would also like to thank Kacey White for her hard work with both guests and TSS in making this program possible.  During the first segment of our 97 minute discussion, Dr. Donoviel started us off with background information for the Vision for Mars Challenge, then Dr. de Juan discussed the nature of the eye problems and the effects of low gravity on the optic nerve.  As you will hear from our guests, the Vision for Mars Challenge will award to small companies a grant of $100,000 to “to help identify and advance medical technologies for ocular health in space through collaboration and funding support.”  After this introductory part of our discussion, our guests went into detail about the medical issues relating to optic nerve changes, pressures, fluid balance and more and what this does to vision.  Our guests were asked how these vision issues might impact a crew on Mars or on the way to Mars but unfortunately not much information is known at this time. Also, we do not know the needed level of gravity to offset the optic nerve, fluid and pressure changes.  Our guests mentioned the upcoming year long crew visit to the ISS and that eye issues will be monitored so that accurate data on vision problems can be collected.  Dr. de Juan did go into many of the medical issues contributing to the vision problem including intraocular pressure and fluid balances.  In addition, we spoke about possible countermeasures.  Both artificial gravity with a short arm centrifuge and mechanical intervention via a certain type of pressure garment were discussed.  Medical intervention was also discussed, then BJohn suggested spinning the spaceship would be more cost effective that other types of countermeasures.  Our guests disagreed, saying medical countermeasures would be designed for patients on Earth as well as astronauts so the market size of potential beneficiaries worldwide would be huge as compared to just a handful of astronauts on a spinning spaceship.  Engineering problems were also cited as a severe cost driver in terms of creating artificial gravity for the crew.  Marshall called to ask about Lasik surgery.  Our guests were then asked about gender & other differences.  Don’t miss these discussions.

In the second segment, Dr. Doug was our first caller.  Doug had multiple questions as usual but first he wanted to know if astronauts could be selected for the longer space missions who had a lengthy stay on the ISS and did not show optic nerve changes or adverse effects.  Our guest thought this would be impractical given around 70% of all astronauts show some vision impact from being in space.  Prisms were talked about as part of mitigation in the form glasses with a variable prescription.  We talked about focus issues in space and on a submarine given my comments about wearing prisms glasses.  Doug’s additional questions dealt with doing a lumbar puncture in space as well as GCRs.  Doug and other listeners via email asked our guests if the vision problems were a show stopper for long duration spaceflight missions.  Don’t miss what Dorit & Gene had to say about this.  Near the end of the program, we talked about the impact of space medicine research on Earth medical problems.  The resulting discussion was most interesting, especially given the examples cited by Dorit via ultrasound in space.  The subject of aerospace medicine medical school programs came up and here Dorit explained the innovative program at Baylor’s Center for Space Medicine.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can contact our guests through me.

Space Show Webinar, Sunday, 5-25-14 May 24, 2014

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Space Show Webinar, Sunday, 5-25-14

Partial Gravity, Tethers, Artificial Gravity

Joe Carroll, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2249-BWB-2014-05-25.mp3 — Audio only

http://vimeo.com/channels/thespaceshow — Webinar Video

Guests:  Joe Carroll, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  Partial/Artificial gravity, tethers, NASA, HSF & more.  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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.  To see the video broadcast for this webinar, please go to http://vimeo.com/channels/thespaceshow.  Note that the audio only & video archive will be posted at the same time once the video is edited, processed, and uploaded to the Vimeo Space Show channel.  Joe Carroll has presentation material on The Space Show Blog which he referred to throughout our discussion so you may want to download the material or have it available to you when viewing the webinar.

We welcomed back to the program Joe Carroll to follow up on his May 2011 Space Show Classroom program on the same subject.  Our panel members included Dr. John Jurist and Dr. Jim Logan. All of us were part of the May 2011 program on this same topic.  During segment one of our 2 hour 10 minute webinar, Joe Carroll went over his background, interest, and experience in the subject dating back to 1981.  Joe discussed his recent work and updates including his concerns for the rotation rate, Coriolis effect & the absence of any substantial progress in the area.  He directed us to Slide 2 & the specific language used in the 201 US National Space Policy introduction.  Our guests talked about missed opportunities by NASA & others to do the essential research needed to confirm the gravity prescription for humans.  Our guests also talked about the amazing amount of unknowns regarding the effects of microgravity or Zero G on humans as we are a 1 G species.  The issue of space settlements came up & I asked our guests if we were jumping the gun pushing settlements when so much of the human factors work remains unresolved and even unknown.  Joe talked about two extremes in the approach to settlements.  He said one extreme was to simply prove issues by walking.  That is, just try it.  The other extreme was to do “endless research and studies,” a critique often mentioned by space advocates.  Jim pointed out that essentially knowing nothing about the Gravity Prescription despite 53 years of human spaceflight experience doesn’t rise to the definition of “endless research and studies.” Apollo was the walking theory for the most part.  Our guests then talked about NASA plans for an outpost as compared to a settlement, specifically for the Moon.  During this segment, we received several listener emails which the guests responded to.  During this time, Jim continued to state that it was essential that we know at least the basic outlines of the gravity prescription for humans for long duration interplanetary spaceflight.  Our guests talked about the ISS and the role it could play in supporting gravity research.  Joe continued to discuss more of his slides and our panel members had much to say about the discussion. Toni called at the end of the segment to ask about 1 RPM spin rate and mentioned that SpaceX said it wanted to go to Mars by 2020.  Here is the article Tony referenced:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2634046/Elon-Musk-says-SpaceX-making-progress-Mars-colony-2020-plans-sell-tickets-500-000.html.

In the second segment, we decided to hold the listener emails until the end of the broadcast to allow Joe time to finish his slides and state his conclusions.  We started off with Slides 6, 7 & 8.  Joe progressed to talk about the inflatable tunnel, some of the technical aspects including specs and diameters and why one was better than the others.  Joe continued taking us quickly through the slides but for those interested in the details, pay close attention to them or contact Joe as his email address is on his presentation material.  Joe spent some time this segment talking about doing Gemini-like tether experiments and he also referred us to Robert Walker’s work.  Robert is a Space Show guest from the UK who has done excellent work on the issue of partial gravity based on Joe’s work with tethers, etc.  Check out Robert’s paper at
http://www.science20.com/robert_inventor/crew_tether_spin_for_artificial_gravity_on_way_to_iss_stunning_new_videos_space_show_webinar_on_sunday-137070.  Don’t miss the links to the tether spin videos in his paper.  The subject of rocket reusability came up and again, Joe and our guests had much to say about this so don’t miss it.  Also in this segment, there was more focus on spin rates.  Joe took us through is conclusion slide which is Slide 20.  He talked about the difficulty in selling space as the next stuff and said one never launches with cutting edge hardware.  We then fielded second segment listener emails on a variety of topics, then we talked about people wanting to go to Mars with the just do it concept mentioned in the first segment.  Several Dr. Zubrin comments were used as illustrations along with SpaceX plans to do Mars by 2020.  All of our guests said there was a significant difference in a short trip to the Moon with Apollo where the decision was made to take the risk for a few days but that going beyond LEO for a long trip to Mars for example was a totally different thing altogether.  Jim used long duration sailing voyages as an example of how the issues for the crew once the long duration trips were started turned out to be very vastly different than for short, easy, turnaround ‘sortie’ voyages. Once transoceanic voyages were attempted it didn’t take Captains, crews or their respective patrons long to realize long duration voyages came with radical new levels of complexity and increased human risk.  We talked more about tethers as well.  Jim made the point that the average time spent on the Moon per Apollo lunar moonwalker was only 2.06 days, a woefully inadequate time to ascertain increased risk.  Joe also talked about the possible study & use of 0.06 G as explained in Slide 8.  I asked each guest for their concluding remarks, starting with Dr. Logan.  His take away was that it is critical to know the gravity prescription. Dr. Jurist was next saying there was no useless research and that gravity research may very well benefit us here on Earth in ways we can’t even imagine at this time.  Joe summarized his concluding thoughts per his last slide, talked about his possible plans to be more proactive with his work and suggested easy experiments that could be done with a Dragon and the spent first stage even on an ISS mission.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach all of the guests through me but as stated earlier, Joe lists his email address on his presentation material.

Partial Gravity IAC2010 Presentation revised 2014May22

DesignConceptsForAMannedArtificialGravityResearchFacilityForIAC2010Sept14 rev 2014May22

Dr. John Jurist, Friday, 5-9-14 May 10, 2014

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Dr. John Jurist, Friday, 5-9-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2241-BWB-2014-05-09.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. John Jurist.  Topics: Space program related medical & biotechnical advances, spinoffs, human spaceflight.  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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show.  This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Dr. John Jurist to discuss some space program related medical and biotechnical advancements to illustrate some of the benefits and importance of human spaceflight.  Listeners also asked him about radiation and one listener in particular answered my question as to why so many space advocates & enthusiasts dismiss the human factors when planning their versions of a humans to the Moon or Mars mission.  During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Dr. Jurist talked about the former astronaut Deke Slayton’s experience with NASA and spaceflight during NASA’s early days when it was discovered that Deke had atrial fibrillation (afib) regarding his heart rate.  Given that I’ve made it public that afib was the reason for my medical leave of absence plus I talked on air about my cardiac ablation procedure at UCSF Medical Center, it seemed appropriate for Dr. Jurist to open with that topic.  Dr. Jurist showed how Deke’s afib experience was in many ways, with NASA research, the root of biotechnology and patient monitoring, wireless monitoring, and even the early days of afib research.  He talked about early space and aviation companies making the monitoring devices for the patient & medical public though this is hardly ever mentioned when talking about NASA spinoffs.  Listeners and I asked lots of questions about these advancements coming from sources other than NASA had NASA not been around.  Would we have had them anyway and around the same time?  Don’t miss what Dr. Jurist had to say in response to this line of questioning.  Dr. Jurist also spoke about bone density issues and osteoporosis analysis and mitigation devices and drugs, many of which have been tested and used in space.  Also, aerospace companies made the initial hardware used for bone density analysis.  Other human factors issues came up and were discussed including vision problems such as a higher incidence of cataracts for astronauts, plus issues probably resulting from fluid shifts in the eye due to microgravity.  John talked about the use of ablation procedures throughout the medical profession and Holter Monitoring for cardiac issues.  He also noted that early bone monitoring was developed by lunar related companies.  Our guest was asked just how important the medical advancements are to HSF and he said very important but they have been undersold to policy makers and the public.  They are also complicated to explain and understand.  Radiation was discussed and turned out to be a significant part of the discussion in Part 2 of our program.  Toward the end of the segment, I asked why so many space enthusiasts seem to dismiss the human factors.  Fortunately, B.John in Sweden provided what I think was an excellent answer to the question which we took it up in the second segment.  However, his note said the following:  “About 500 humans have been to space. No increase of radiation related health effects have been observed. No one have died in space, only during starting and landing. And that’s because of technical malfunctions with catastrophic explosions. That’s why most listeners think that Dr. Jurist grotesquely over estimate the imagined hazards of space flight. There exists no data at all to support his pessimistic claims.”  While I disagree with his analysis and conclusions, I do think his reasoning is held by many and it does go a long way to explain why so often the human factors issues are dismissed by some in the greater advocacy community.  Before the segment ended, I asked John to talk about the April 4, 2014 presentation at Rocky Mtn College by Walt Cunningham. The video of Walt’s talk is on our Space Show Vimeo channel and the audio is now archived on our website and blog.

In the second segment, Dave Ketchledge called to speak to the radiation issue as Dave was part of the nuclear Navy and worked in the nuclear power plan industry for years.  He had much to say about the radiation risks that debunked B.John’s comments.  Both he and Dr. Jurist spoke to beta and alpha particles, some shielding material ideas, & changes in the radiation standards used by NASA.  Later, Dr. Jurist responded to a question about space being engineering driven with the medical issues not always receiving the top priority in architecture development and mission design. B.John sent us additional emails regarding radiation, supporting art. gravity, and suggesting why NASA does not want to do HSF.  Don’t miss our responses to B.John’s emails though I said again I thought his explanation to my initial question was on the mark.  In his summary, Dr. Jurist suggested the bio medical field received important benefits from our early and ongoing space program.  He also said going to Mars, the Moon, or an asteroid would most likely produce huge benefits and medical advancements, and that should be reason enough to have a robust human spaceflight program.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Dr. Jurist through me.

Dr. William (Bill) Rowe, Sunday, 6-10-12 June 11, 2012

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Dr. William (Bill) Rowe, Sunday, 6-10-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1792-BWB-2012-06-10.mp3

Guest:  Dr. William (Bill) Rowe.  Topics:  Space medicine, magnesium, calcium & astronaut heart problems, oxidative stress & exercise protocols in space.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed back Dr. Bill Rowe to further discuss certain aspects of human spaceflight (HSF) and space medicine.  Please note that all Space Show programs are educational programs.  This particular interview with Dr. Rowe is no exception.  As an educational program, Dr. Rowe, at the end of the interview, offered to respond to your serious comments & questions posted on the blog and said you could email him through his website, www.femsinspace.com.  Unlike most space medicine discussions, Dr. Rowe goes into lots of details on several key issues.  I have no doubt that some of you will reject, challenge, and not like what you hear. Some of you will take issue with Dr. Rowe & be critical of this program. You might even see him as being negative though that is not the case, but he is definitely scientific. I urge you to discuss disagreements, challenges, & issues with him.  Civility is the only requirement.  During our first hour of this nearly 2.5 hour discussion, Dr. Rowe started out by going over astronaut cardiac issues, referring to former astronauts Jim Irwin & Dave Scott on Apollo 15 pertaining to issues with Irwin’s hear rate.  The articles he mentions on his website are in the upper left hand corner of the home page.  Dr. Rowe then segmented into the first of many magnesium discussions & oxidative stress, using his submarine analog, (www.femsinspace.com/Oxidative_stress.htm.  Microgravity exercise routines were discussed along with the need to get rid of excessive body heat.  Dr. Rowe had much to say about the inadequacy of current on orbit exercise routines & heat.  He also talked about plasma leakage, the loss of magnesium, & what this does in space.  Also in this segment, he went over the Chinese Taikonaut requirements for female crew members, making the case for an all female crew. Don’t miss what he had to say about this.  Our last topic in this segment was 1G and artificial gravity.

In our second longer segment, Dr. Rowe talked about recent studies pertaining to calcium usage & he brought this home to HSF.  We talked about the importance of the calcium-magnesium ratio. Caller John introduced us to the issue of Vit. D3 & calcium.  Tim called to make some good points about artificial gravity in terms of needed data points.  He did not agree with the all female crew suggestion.  Next, Dr. Rowe talked about the gastrointestinal lining, iron, & bone issues in space.  Dr. Rowe also referred to anthropological studies to see how some groups habits might positively impact skeletal muscle issues in space. Issues with high adrenalin levels were discussed throughout the program along with possible treatment/intervention tools.  At the end, we learned that resolving these complex issues is not just a matter of more money.  I also asked Dr. Rowe about private Mars missions & one way trips with private crews ignoring space medicine factors.  He called them dreamers but in the end if they want to go knowing the risks, they should be able to go.  Dr. Rowe said his research & comments were focused on scientific HSF missions, not the dreamer type missions we often hear & read about in the media.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Dr. Rowe through his website.

Drs. Adrian LeBlanc, Thomas Lang & John Jurist, Sunday, 5-6-12 May 6, 2012

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Drs. Adrian LeBlanc, Thomas Lang & John Jurist, Sunday, 5-6-12

NASA Bone Loss & Bisphosphonate Study

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1769-BWB-2012-05-06.mp3

Guests:  CLASSROOM:  Dr. Adrian LeBlanc, Dr. Tom Lang, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  Bone loss issues for human spaceflight & the use of bisphosphonates for mitigation.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com and The Space Show Classroom blog, http://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  In addition, at the end of this summary, you will find links to relevant papers for our discussion as provided us by Dr. Lang.  We welcomed Dr. Adrian LeBlanc, Dr. Tom Lang and Dr. John Jurist as co-host to discuss the NASA bisphosphonate and bone loss study in progress.  Dr. LeBlanc along with his associate in Japan, Dr. Toshio Matsumoto, are leading this study and Dr. Lang is part of the team.  We started our discussion with Dr. LeBlanc providing us with a brief historical overview of bone loss issues of concern to NASA since the early days of the space program.  We talked about Skylab, Mir, the use of the DEXA scan, the use of quantitative computer tomography (QTC) and CT scans through to the ISS, Space Shuttle, and current research projects.  Our discussion was technical at times so if you need to look up or Google a technical term, please do so. In addition, we had some audio issues with the phone line used by Dr. LeBlanc as he faded in and out from time to time.  We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused.  The first segment went through the bone loss issues, problems, consequences, & the methodologies involved in analyzing the conditions encountered by the astronauts participating in these studies.  Issues we discussed included the use of prescription drugs in space, long term use of bisphosphonates, risk factors for spontaneous hip fractures, exercise programs, bone strength, bone mass, the impact of radiation, skeletal recovery back on Earth after spaceflight to something different than before the spaceflight took place as well as the implications for astronauts as they age.  We talked about using artificial gravity to mitigate bone loss.  You might be surprised to learn that using partial gravity may not help matters.  Bisphosphonates do seem to help and will possibly play a role with exercise as we move to long duration spaceflight but we are in the very early stages of fact finding on these issues.  We also discussed informed consent with the astronauts regarding their participation in these and other experiments.

In the second segment, a listener asked about the relevance of this type of space research to the taxpayer who funds it and to the general population.  Our three guests responded to this question, explaining why the research is relevant and important. Don’t miss their answers.  We then talked about following the astronauts here on Earth to see the continued impact of having been in space on their bones as they age.  We learned that bone changes after being in space for four weeks or more and it is important to follow these changes as part of the aging process.  Our guests talked about calcium excretion issues in space and the risk this causes for a renal stones.  Bisphosphonates may inhibit calcium excretion which would help mitigate this risk.  Near the end of our discussion, we learned about new medications being developed that are more advanced than the bisphosphonates we have today.  We also talked about the competition with astronauts for different scientific experiments.  As Dr. Jurist pointed out, we really do need lots more human spaceflight!  At the end a listener asked about bed rest studies and our guests provided us with the basics.  If you are interested, visit https://bedreststudy.jsc.nasa.gov.  Our guests made important closing comments and take away points.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show and Classroom blogs.

Dr. Lang provided us with these links that will be of interest to us all.  These documents can be accessed without a subscription to the journals. These papers provide some background to the problem of bone loss in spaceflight, the recovery of bone after spaceflight and use of CT and the use of CT-based finite element modeling to assess bone loss.

Cortical and Trabecular Bone Mineral Loss From the Spine and Hip in Long-Duration Spaceflight http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1359/JBMR.040307/full

Adaptation of the Proximal Femur to Skeletal Reloading After Long-Duration Spaceflight http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1359/jbmr.060509/full

Reduction in proximal femoral strength due to long-duration spaceflight http://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=0zFSO9sAAAAJ&cstart=20&citation_for_view=0zFSO9sAAAAJ:4DMP91E08xMC

Click on link on right “[PDF] from http://cof.org.cn ” for free pdf copy of the report.