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reducing metabolism to reduce consumables

Posted by: Leo Stage - Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:43 am
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reducing metabolism to reduce consumables 
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Post reducing metabolism to reduce consumables   Posted on: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:43 am
I wonder if you or anyone has thought of using techniques like meditation, biofeedback, or even drugs to reduce the metabolism of a space traveler to reduce the consumables needed during the interplanetary flight? A lot of it will be pretty boring. You could sleep 20 hours a day without missing anything. You'd have to do excercise to fight the problems of zero-g, but you wouldn't have to expend anywhere near the energy of someone hiking all day.


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Post Re: reducing metabolism to reduce consumables   Posted on: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:56 pm
Leo Stage wrote:
I wonder if you or anyone has thought of using techniques like meditation, biofeedback, or even drugs to reduce the metabolism of a space traveler to reduce the consumables needed during the interplanetary flight? A lot of it will be pretty boring. You could sleep 20 hours a day without missing anything. You'd have to do excercise to fight the problems of zero-g, but you wouldn't have to expend anywhere near the energy of someone hiking all day.


I would think that sleeping 20 hours a day in zero-G and exercise would be a zero-sum gain for consumables. The longer you spend in zero g, the more exercise you need to do.

A better solution would be increased gravity, reducing exercise requirements.

Your other techniques might be beneficial, especially meditation, as it would also likely help deal with psychological problems of long duration space flight.

Reduced calorie diet would be good, in that they decrease metablism, and potentially reduce consumables. I say potentially, because we're more concerned with volume and mass, not calories. Still, astronauts tend to have higher metabolisms because of a generally higher fitness level than the general public.

If you can control metabolism to the point where it's sufficient for exercise and then slows down for rest periods, then you might have something. But I would suspect (and I'm defintely no expert) this would take a good deal of training, if it is even possible.

Big picture, I'd be concerned about reducing crew consumables in order to make room for some other gizmo that program managers want. Having a disgruntled crew living off of less than desirable consumables will lead to less productive experiements, hence a waste of the new gizmo.

Keep your crew happy to maximize productivity.

But I digress.

- Alistair

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:50 pm
See my comments and proposals (Gravity Sim Suite, etc) for thoughts on avoiding bone density loss. Isometric exercise burns few calories and probably will do a lot of good. As noted elsewhere, since the zero g problem looks a lot like extended bed rest, all of these techniques can be tested at very low cost, making use of any dedicated “couch potatoâ€


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