A LARGE HUMAN CENTRIFUGE FOR EXPLORATION AND EXPLOITATION RESEARCH

Jack J.W.A. van Loon

Abstract


This paper addresses concepts regarding the development of an Altered Gravity Platform (AGP) that will serve as a research platform for human space exploration. Space flight causes a multitude of physiological problems, many of which are due to gravity level transitions. Going from Earth's gravity to microgravity generates fluid shifts, space motion sickness, cardiovascular deconditioning among other changes, and returning to a gravity environment again puts the astronauts under similar stressors. A prolonged stay in microgravity provokes additional deleterious changes such as bone loss, muscle atrophy and loss of coordination or specific psychological stresses. To prepare for future manned space exploration missions, a ground-based research test bed for validating countermeasures against the deleterious effects of g-level transitions is needed. The proposed AGP is a large rotating facility (diameter > 150 m), where gravity levels ranging from 1.1 to 1.5g are generated, covering short episodes or during prolonged stays of weeks or even months. On this platform, facilities are built where a crew of 6 to 8 humans can live autonomously. Adaptation from 1 g to higher g levels can be studied extensively and monitored continuously. Similarly, re-adaptation back to 1 g, after a prolonged period of altered g can also be investigated. Study of the physiological and psychological adaptation to changing g-levels will provide instrumental and predictive knowledge to better define the ultimate countermeasures that are needed for future successful manned space exploration missions to the Moon, Mars and elsewhere. The AGP initiative will allow scientific top experts in Europe and worldwide to investigate the necessary scientific, operational, and engineering inputs required for such space missions. Because so many different physiological systems are involved in adaptation to gravity levels, a multidisciplinary approach is crucial. One of the final and crucial steps is to verify the AGP concept by a large scientific community through feedback from various scientific societies. This facility will also serve clinical research on Earth, because a multitude of health problems such as osteoporosis, frailty of the elderly, inactivity, sarcopenia, obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes, cardiovascular problems, connective tissue ageing and immune deficiency, among others stand to benefit from the fundamental insights into the effects of our ever-present terrestrial gravity gained with such a novel research platform.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Agostini, F., Mazzucco S., & Biolo, G. (2010). Metabolic adaptation to inactive lifestyle from muscle atrophy to cardiovascular risk. Annales Kinesiologiae, 1(1), 47–60.

Angener, O. (2012). Platforms for stress and immune research in preparation of long-duration space exploration missions. Stress challenges and immunity in space. Edt. A. Chouker. Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg, 417–424.

Armbrecht, G., Belavý, D. L., Backström, M., Beller, G., Alexandre, C., Rizzoli, R., et al. (2011). Trabecular and cortical bone density and architecture in women after 60 days of bed rest using high-resolution pQCT: WISE. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 26(10), 2399–2410.

Arbeille, P., Kerbeci, P., Mattar, L., Shoemaker, J. K., & Hughson, R. (2008). Insufficient flow reduction during lbnp in both splanchnic and lower limb areas is associated with orthostatic intolerance after bedrest, American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 295, H1846–H1854.

Aschoff, J., & Wever, R. (1958). Modellversuche zum Gegenstrom-Waermeaustausch in der Extremitaet. Research in Experimental Medicine, 130, 385–395.

Asher, R. A. J. (1947). The dangers of going to bed. British Medical Journal, 1(2), 967–968.

Belavý, D. L., Armbrecht, G., Richardson, C. A., Felsenberg, D., & Hides, J. A. (2011). Muscle atrophy and changes in spinal morphology: is the lumbar spine vulnerable after prolonged bed-rest? Spine, 36(2), 137–145.

Biolo, G., Heer, M., Narici, M., & Strollo, F. (2003). Microgravity as a model of ageing. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 6, 31–40.

Bles, W., de Graaf, B., Bos, J. E., Groen, E., & Krol, J. R. (1997). A sustained hyper-g load as a tool to simulate space sickness. Journal of Gravitational Physiology, 4(2), 1–4.

Bles, W., & Groen, E. (2009). The DESDEMONA Motion Facility: Applications for Space Research. Microgravity Science and Technology, 21(4), 281–286.

Blottner, D., Salanova, M., Püttmann, B., Schiffl, G., Felsenberg, D., Buehring, B., et al. (2006). Human skeletal muscle structure and function preserved by vibration muscle exercise following 55 days of bed rest. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 97(3), 261–271.

Boonyaratanakornkit, J. B., Cogoli, A., Li, C. F., Schopper, T., Pippia, P., Galleri, G., et al. (2005). Key gravity-sensitive signaling pathways drive T cell activation. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, 19(14), 2020–2.

Boyle, R., Mensinger, A. F., Yoshida, K., Usui, S., Intravaia, A., Tricas, T., et al. (2001). Neural readaptation to 1G following return from space. Journal of Neurophysiology, 86, 2118–2122.

Brinck, H., & Werner, J. (1994). Efficiency function: improvement of classical bioheat approach. Journal of Applied Physiology, 77(4), 1617–1622.

Clement, G. (2011). Fundamentals of Space Medicine. 2nd Edition. Springer: New York.

Corcoran, P. J. (1991). Use it or lose it. The hazards of bedrest and inactivity. The Western Journal of Medicine, 154, 536–538.

Cogoli, A., Tschopp, A., & Fuchs-Bislin, P. (1984). Cell sensitivity to gravity. Science, 225, 4658, 228–230.

Crucian, B., & Sams, C. (2009). Immune system dysregulation during spaceflight: clinical risk for exploration-class missions. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 86(5), 1017.

Czupalla, M., Horneck, G., & Blome, H. J. (2005). The conceptual design of a hybrid life support system based on the evaluation and comparison of terrestrial testbeds. Advances in Space Research, 35(9), 1609–1620.

Dizio, P., & Lackner, J. R. (2001). Coriolis-force-induced trajectory and endpoint deviations in the reaching movements of labyrinthine-defective subjects. Journal of Neurophysiology, 85(2), 784–789.

Elias, P. Z., Jarchow, T., & Young, L. R. (2008). Incremental adaptation to yaw head turns during 30 RPM centrifugation. Experimental Brain Research, 189(3), 269–277.

Eyeson-Annan, M., Peterken, C., Brown, B., & Atchison, D. (1996). Visual and vestibular components of motion sickness. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 67(10), 955–962.

Fogelholm, M. (2010). Physical activity, fitness and fatness: relations to mortality, morbidity and disease risk factors. A systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 11(3), 202–221.

Foster, P. P., & Butler, B. D. (2009). Decompression to altitude: assumptions, experimental evidence, and future directions. Journal of Applied Physiology, 106, 678–690.

Gannon, J., Doran, P., Kirwan, A., & Ohlendieck, K. (2009). Drastic increase of myosin light chain MLC-2 in senescent skeletal muscle indicates fast-to-slow fibre transition in sarcopenia of old age. European Journal of Cell Biology, 88(11), 685–700.

Gieras, J. F., Piech, Z. J., & Tomczuk, B. (2012). Linear Synchronous Motors. Transportation And Automation Systems. CRC Press Baco Raton, FL USA, 323–362.

Grigoriev, A. I., Morukov, B. V., & Vorobiev, D. V. (1994). Water and electrolyte studies during long-term missions onboard the space stations SALYUT and MIR Journal of Clinical Investigation, 72, 169–189.

Harrison, A. A., Clearwater, Y. A., & McKay, C. P. (1991). From Antarctica to outer space: Life in isolation and confinement. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Hendrickx, L., De Wever, H., Hermans, V., Mastroleo, F., Morin, N., Wilmotte, A., et al. (2006). Microbial ecology of the closed artificial ecosystem MELiSSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative): reinventing and compartmentalizing the Earth’s food and oxygen regeneration system for long-haul space exploration missions. Research in Microbiology, 157(1), 77–86.

Institute of Medicine (2002). Safe passage: Astronaut care for exploration missions. Washington, DC. National Academies Press.

Iwase, S., Sugiyama, Y., Miwa, C., Kamiya, A., Mano, T., Ohira, Y., et al. (2000). Effects of three days of dry immersion on muscle sympathetic nerve activity and arterial blood pressure in humans, Journal of The Autonomic Nervous System, 79, 156–164.

Johnston, R. S., & Dietlein, L. F. (1977). Biomedical Results from Skylab Washington, DC: NASA SP-377.

Kanas, N., & Manzey, D. (2008). Space psychology and psychiatry. New York: Springer.

Katovich, M. J. & Smith, A. H. (1978). Body mass composition, and food intake in rabbits during altered acceleration fields. Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiratory, Environmental and Exercise Physiology, 45(l), 51–55.

Levasseur, R., Sabatier, J. P., Etard, O., Denise, P., & Reber, A. (2004). Labyrinthectomy decreases bone mineral density in the femoral metaphysis in rats. Journal of Vestibular Research, 14(5), 361–365.

Lieberman, P., Morey, A., Hochstadt, J., Larson, M., & Mather, S. (2005). Mount Everest: a space analogue for speech monitoring of cognitive deficits and stress. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 76(6 Suppl), B198–207.

Moran, M. M., Stein, T. P., & Wade, C. E. (2001). Hormonal modulation of food intake in response to low leptin levels induced by hypergravity. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 226(8), 740–745.

Moriggi, M., Vasso, M., Fania, C., Capitanio, D., Bonifacio, G., Salanova, M., et al. (2010). Long-term bed rest with and without vibration exercise countermeasures: effects on human muscle protein dysregulation. Proteomics, 10(21), 3756–774.

Moukhina, A., Shenkman, B., Blottner, D., Nemirovskaya, T., Lemesheva, Y., Püttmann, B. et al. (2004). Effects of support stimulation on human soleus fiber characteristics during exposure to “dry” immersion. Journal of Gravitational Physiology, 11(2), P137–8.

Muth, E. R., Raj, A. K., Rupert, A. H., & Lee, R. (2000). The experience of nausea during sustained hypergravity flight with negligible angular velocity. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, 71, 522–530.

Narici, M. V., Maganaris, C. N., & Reeves, N. (2002). Muscle and tendon adaptations to ageing and spaceflight. Journal of Gravitational Physiology, 9(1), 137–138.

NASA (2005). The bioastronautics roadmap: A risk-reduction strategy for human exploration. NASA / SP–2004–6113, Washington, DC, USA.

Navasiolava, N. M., Custaud, M. A., Tomilovskaya, E. S., Larina, I. M., Mano, T., Gauquelin-Koch, G., et al. (2011). Long-term dry immersion: review and prospects. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(7), 1235–1260.

Ockels, W. J., Furrer, R., & Messerschmid, E. (1990). Simulation of space adaptation syndrome on earth. Experimental Brain Research, 79(3), 661–663.

Olsen, J. J. (2002). Antarctica: a review of recent medical research. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 23(10).

Orr, A., Marshall, G. J., Hunt, J. C. R. J., Sommeria, J., Wang, C.-G., van Lipzig N. P. M., et al. (2008). Characteristics of summer airflow over the Antarctic Peninsula in response to recent strengthening of westerly circumpolar winds. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 65, 1396–1413.

Pace, N., Smith, A. H., & Rahlmann, D. F. (1985). Skeletal mass change as a function of gravitational loading. Physiologist, 28(6S), S17–20.

Paloski, W. H., Oman, C. M., Bloomberg, J. J., Reschke, M. F., Wood, S. J., Harm, D. L., et al. (2008). Risk of sensory-motor performance failures affecting vehicle control during space missions: A review of the evidence. Journal of Gravitational Physiology, 15(2), 1–29.

Pavy-Le Traon, A., Heer, M., Narici, M. V., Rittweger, J., & Vernikos, J. (2007). From space to Earth: advances in human physiology from 20 years of bed rest studies (1986–2006). European Journal of Applied Physiology, 101(2), 143–194

Perhonen, M. A., Franco, F., Lane, L. D., Buckey, J. C., Blomqvist, C. G., Zerwekh, J. E., et al. (2001). Cardiac atrophy after bed rest and spaceflight. Journal of Applied Physiology, 91(2), 645–653.

Petersson, J., Rohdin, M., Sánchez-Crespo, A., Nyrén, S., Jacobsson, H., Larsson, S. A., et al. (2006). Paradoxical redistribution of pulmonary blood flow in prone and supine humans exposed to hypergravity. Journal of Applied Physiology, 100(1), 240–248.

Schmidt, L. L., Keeton, K., Slack, K. J., Leveton, L. B., & Shea, C. (2009). Risk of performance errors due to poor team cohesion and performance, inadequate selection / team composition, inadequate training, and poor psychosocial adaptation. In J. C. McPhee and J. B. Charles (Eds.), Human Health and Performance Risks of Space Exploration Missions: Evidence Reviewed by the NASA Human Research Program (pp 45–84). Houston, TX: NASA Johnson Space Center.

Smith, A. H., & Kelly, C. F. (1963). Influence of chronic acceleration upon growth and body composition. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 10, 410–424.

Thijssen, D. H., Maiorana, A. J., O’Driscoll, G., Cable, N. T., Hopman, M. T., & Green D. J. (2010). Impact of inactivity and exercise on the vasculature in humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 108(5), 845–875.

Trappe, T. (2009). Influence of aging and long-term unloading on the structure and function of human skeletal muscle. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 34(3), 459–464.

Tou, J., Ronca, A., Grindeland, R., & Wade, C. (2002). Models to study gravitational biology of mammalian reproduction. Biology of Reproduction, 67(6), 1681–1687.

van Loon, J. J. W. A., Tanck, E., van Nieuwenhoven, F., Snoeckx, L. H. E. H., de Jong, H. A. A., & Wubbels, R. J. J. (2005). A brief overview of animal hypergravity studies. Journal of Gravitational Physiology, 12(1), 5–10.

van Loon, J. J. W. A. (2009a). The Human Centrifuge. Microgravity Science and Technology, 21 (1–2), 203–207.

van Loon, J. J. W. A., Wuyts, F., Bäcker, N., Berte, J., Bok, K., Bos, J., et al. (2009b). The large Radius Human Centrifuge ‘A Human Hypergravity Habitat, H3. Paper IAC-09.A1.2.3, 60th IAC Congress. Deageon, South-Koria, 12–16 Oct.

Vernikos, J., & Schneider, V. S. (2010). Space, Gravity and the Physiology of Aging: Parallel or Convergent Disciplines? A Mini-Review. Gerontology, 56, 157–166.

van Duijnhoven, N. T., Green, D. J., Felsenberg, D., Belavy, D. L., Hopman, M. T., & Thijssen, D. H. (2010). Impact of bed rest on conduit artery remodeling: effect of exercise countermeasures. Hypertension, 56(2), 240–246.

Vico, L., Collet, P., Guignandon, A., Lafage-Proust, M. H., Thomas, T., Rehaillia, et al. (2000). Effects of long-term microgravity exposure on cancellous and cortical weight-bearing bones of cosmonauts. Lancet, 355(9215), 1607–1611.

Wade, C. E. (2005). Responses across the gravity continuum: hypergravity to microgravity. Advances in Space Biology and Medicine, 10, 225–245.

Williams, D., Kuipers, A., Mukai, C., & Thirsk, R. (2009). Acclimation during space flight: effects on human physiology. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 180(13), 1317–1323.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2016 Jack J.W.A. van Loon

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.