“The research to be conducted on this one-year mission will help NASA and the international community better understand the effects of spaceflight on the human body. This is a key stepping stone to ensuring the health of our astronauts as NASA makes its next giant leap for humanity.” (NASA Press Release, March, 25, 2015)
Photo Credit: NASA, CHAMP, DLR
NASA’s Johnson Space Center is a good example of these integrated laboratories with the aim of reproducing space environments and train astronauts to live in them – putting on their fancy spacesuits, operating in low gravity simulators, and wearing their Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles that will make them believe they are on alien soil. Gravity certainly represents the main aspect to get it right. A few ways have been tried. One is the Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS), designed to simulate reduced gravity environments, such as Lunar, Martian, or even microgravity by using a an overhead bridge crane.