Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Space technologies to be used for planet Earth

A new technology for producing deuterium-free drinking water for the crew of a spaceship is one the best examples

In the near future we will probably use amazing cutting-age technologies that are now being developed in laboratories involved in the preparation of the first manned space mission to Mars. Many a technology destined for the life support system of a spaceship will be also put to good use on the planet Earth. “It is a return on those huge funds invested in the space exploration technologies,” says Vitaly Semenov, a section chief designer of the Keldysh Research Center, a project coordinator for the mission to Mars.

“A new technology for producing deuterium-free drinking water for the crew of a spaceship is one of the best examples,” says Mr. Semenov. “The technology was developed by the Institute of Medical and Biological Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen, having twice the mass of ordinary hydrogen. The deuterium content in common water is extremely low. However, this transparent isotope has a very negative impact on the human body. The findings of several studies of deuterium were conducted independently yet they arrived at the same conclusion: deuterium is detrimental to health. Experiments produced compelling evidence that the drinking water with a low content of deuterium (or deuterium-free water) can impede the development of malignancies. The discovery was hailed as a sensation by the scientific community. I will give you an example. A series of experiments was carried out using the lab mice that were artificially infected with lung cancer. After a period of time, metastases began to spread over the internal organs of the rodents. Then those mice were given drinking water with deuterium content lowered by 5-6 percent. The effect was truly amazing, the growth of metastases dropped 40 percent. But the ‘magic potion’ is capable of producing yet another beneficial effect on health. It can slow down the process of aging. The experiments with animals and plants brought out wonderful results.”

- Mr. Semenov, would you arrive at the same results if used clear distilled in your experiments?

- We also conducted experiments with distilled water. The results show that it has opposite effect on a living being. The distilled water can only suppress the growth. Today specialists have no doubts that deuterium-free water is good for your health. This is extremely important to crew members who will be affected by a great deal of detrimental factors including radiation and micro-impurities in the air as they will travel on board the ship for a long time. So the astronauts will drink deuterium-free water to reduce the impact of detrimental factors. I believe that the new technology could be also used here on Earth in hospitals, health centers and other institutions provided that necessary adjustments are completed.

- What other space technologies would you recommend to residents of our planet?

- For example, a centrifuge or machine that spins at a high speed to create artificial gravity. Researchers at the Keldysh Center built an operational full-scale prototype of the centrifuge that can be mounted on board a spaceship or a space station. You can ask me why we need a centrifuge in space. It is a well-known scientific fact that lengthy exposure to zero-gravity can be a grave health risk. We also know that the crew members should exercise regularly to keep themselves fit during and after the flight. We seemed to take any possible measures aimed at protecting physical health of the astronauts. But those measures failed to ensure adequate protection at all times. The results of post-flight medical examination show that the condition of a number of crew members who took part in the long-term space flights deteriorated much worse than that of other astronauts involved in similar flights. Now the doctors know that some dramatic even critical changes can affect astronauts' health regardless of measures taken. And those threats to health can not be prevented at the moment. I am not a doctor but the problem needs to be addressed. That is why we believe that a new preventive device can be successfully used both on board the spaceship bound for Mars and the International Space Station. The preventive device that creates artificial G-force. The centrifuge is officially called a short-radius centrifuge. It is quite compact, 4 meters in diameter. It can spin at a range from10 to 55 revolutions per minute. Two or four astronauts will be placed horizontally with their heads toward the center. Each of them will be able to work the pedals of a bike simulator as the machine will be spinning them around. A double load will have the best effect on health. I am quite confident that this type of a centrifuge will soon be used in hospitals and clinics for treating patients with osteoporosis, a disease causing the loss of bone tissue that results in bones becoming brittle and liable to fracture. The first laboratory of gravitational therapy in Russia was founded by doctors of the Samara State Medical University. Specialists in Samara believe that a mild variety of hypertension can be treated by using a short-radius centrifuge. Physical exercise is part of a treatment for patients with that kind of hypertension. But patients must exercise with utmost care to keep their hearts from switching into overload. On the face of it, the requirements seem quite impossible to meet. Our machine combined with a bike simulator can do the trick by directing gravitational load largely to a lower part of the body while the heart gets impacted as much as required. The machine can also be used for enhancing rehabilitation of the broken bones and treating patients diagnosed with atherosclerosis.

Vitaly Golovachev

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