Perilous Process of Childbirth in Microgravity

Infant in an astronaut suit

“All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct” – Carl Sagan captured the interest and imagination of millions of people throughout the world and throughout time. His influence still rings today as countries and aerospace companies around the world race into the dawn of the second space race.

The opening golden gate of this space age reminds us, that there is still much to be done as humanity takes its first steps into becoming a spacefaring civilization. One of the biggest mysteries of microgravity is, what happens when a child is born in space or on another planet? How would we ensure a smooth process of childbirth in microgravity?

Childbirth and Gravity

Previous research has indicated that microgravity negatively affects muscle and bone mass. The longer a person stays in space, the more muscle and bone mass they lose. These effects would be incredibly problematic for the female during child birth. A weak bone mass of the pelvis could potentially lead to a rupture which would be extremely fatal to the female and the infant. But that is merely overcoming one peril of many.

On Earth, the gravity aids in developing infant’s muscle mass and bone density. However, in microgravity, the force of the gravity is substantially weaker. Because of the weaker gravity, the infant’s muscle mass and bone density may not grow to the same extent as infants that were raised on Earth. This could potentially lead to infants which are far more weaker.

Ever wondered how babies develop their sense of balance and their spatial orientation? Or how you can coordinate your movements so effectively? The answer lies in your vestibular system. It is a sensory system which relays information to the brain about motion, head position and spatial orientation. It also aids in keeping our balance, stabilizing our overall movement and posture. During birth, the infant’s vestibular system is stimulated by gravity which helps to stabilize the infant’s spatial orientation and sense of overall movement, including balance. However, in microgravity, there is very little force to stimulate the vestibular system, therefore, potentially leading to a defective vestibular system in an infant.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the potential dangers in giving birth in space or even on other planets. We do not fully know of the dangers of humans giving birth beyond Earth. But that did not stop research from going where no human infant has gone before.

Experimentation

Several small animals and plants have been used in microgravity experiments to explain how microgravity affects reproduction. However, the results have proved to be a mixed bag of conclusions.

In a 2008 study by April E Ronca et al., concluded that rat pups who were exposed to microgravity developed abnormal vestibular system. Further work done on rats in space suggests that microgravity lowers the total amount of rat sperm counts as well as increasing the abnormalities. Additional studies done on crickets, nematodes, fruit flies and medaka fish showed that successful mating and reproduction in space can occur.

The answers to the basic biology questions of birth in space may go unanswered for many years as ethical questions swirl around it. Would it be okay to send a pregnant woman to space for science? Would it be okay for a woman to give birth in space? There are many hurdles to overcome but until we do, we will be forever stuck on the cradle of human civilization. Should we go out there wandering the cosmos, we will have to face the basic biology questions but the reward will be one small step for man, and a giant leap for mankind.

Tour Of Our Solar System

 

Gather your space suits, grab your notepads, and clench your butt! Because we are about to take a short tour around our very own solar system! Learn quick facts about all our planets, and imbrace the beauty of what every orb in the night sky has to offer us! WARNING: pluto not included! Enjoy the ride!

Remember to give love to this amazing composer: CO.AG Music! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcav…)
Song #1: Visionary part 5 – Time to leave the Earth (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJi3o…)
Song #2: Alpha – Futuristic Background Music (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NEpA…)

SpaceEngine is a realistic virtual Universe you can explore on your computer. You can travel from star to star, from galaxy to galaxy, landing on any planet, moon, or asteroid with the ability to explore its alien landscape. You can alter the speed of time and observe any celestial phenomena you please. Website: (http://spaceengine.org/)

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The Sun and its Humongous Habits – Coronal Mass Ejections

The Sun is the most majestic body in our solar system. It is violent and also a graceful celestial body. The Sun is considered to burn with the energy of a trillion nuclear bombs per second. It also releases huge flares of plasma that travel throughout the solar system at very high speeds. This article talks about Solar Winds and CME’s that are released by Sun.

In a nutshell, Solar Winds are charged particles released by the sun that permeate the solar system. These Winds are polarized and thus these winds are influenced by the magnetic fields of the planets and other celestial bodies. These winds travel at speeds of 250-750 km/s. The solar winds travel as far as the Kuiper Belt. The heliosphere is where the influence of these solar winds are felt. When surpassing the Heliosphere, the momentum of the wind reduces. The Heliosphere is formed because of what is considered as a termination shock. 

(Termination Shock: Don’t get overwhelmed by the word, ever went to the basin in your bathroom and opened the tap and watched how there was a shock created at the ends of the circle. Here is an image to help you understand)

See the source image
The above image is an example of a termination shock. The same phenomenon occurs in space forming the heliosphere.

Thankfully, due to the magnetic fields on earth, we don’t have to worry about extrasolar radiation. If there were no magnetic fields, we might not even have an atmosphere.

 

The Process of nuclear fusion, which fuses atoms in combination to create usable energy, occurs in the Sun to create heat. This phenomenon only occurs inside bodies that have exceptionally high pressures, which is present at the Sun’s core. Under such high pressures, matter ionizes to form plasma and creates magnetic fields. This process can sometimes create extremely large effects on our atmosphere through a Coronal Mass Ejection – where plasma waves generated can lead to high energy protons flood towards the direction of the waves. This is usually called a Solar Particle Event (SPE), or simply known as a ‘solar storm’. These waves are so strong that they usually compress other celestial bodies’ magnetic fields. It changes the shape of the field into somewhat a teardrop and forms a long tail at the end of the field. If the energy contained in the field is too large for the field to sustain, it breaks and the plasma particles head straight towards the body. If it happens on earth, it is known as a geomagnetic storm.

See the source image
This image shows how the magnetic field of the earth is compressed by the wind, and the formation of a tail behind it.

Nuclear fusion is currently being researched as a means of sustainable energy. The Sparc reactor, developed by MIT(w/mit.edu) and a Massachusetts tech company called Commonwealth Fusion Systems (w/cfs.energy) have researched the influence of nuclear fusion upon our atmosphere. 

These geomagnetic storms cause no harm to humans but cause a lot of harm to electronics. We all know that wherever there is electricity there is magnetism also. These CME’s can destroy the transformers we have that we depend on to generate current leading to a huge failure in power which might take years to set back up. Fortunately, engineers nowadays have already prepared for these kinds of events, and scientists watching the sun say that it takes a CME a few hours before it reaches the earth. Researchers say that a CME just went a very few kilometers away from the earth and we were fortunate to have missed the storm. Predictions say that it could lead to a loss of 2.6 trillion dollars worth of objects in America Only and an estimated time to set back all things is 4-10 years. 

We have already seen a few solar storms hittting earth. The most dangerous one is the 1989 Quebec Blackout. The geomagnetic storm was so strong that it caused a half day power failure in Quebec, some satellites were tumbling out of control in space, the US had over 200 power grid failures within minutes of the storm beginning. Quebec lost its entire power system in 92 seconds, USA had failed GSU’s and additional transformers failed due to load rejection. This was the strongest solar storm we have ever witnessed.

See the source image
The above is a small gif showing the entire solar storm, that occurred on March 13, 1989.

In Conclusion, the Sun releases huge solar flares every second and thus forms solar winds. When these flares get large they become CME’s. These winds travel at high speeds and push all protons in space with its momentum. These protons are what form the beautiful auroras. Luckily, CME’s occur only once in approx. 100 years. 

Currently, engineers are developing other methods of parting electric current flowing from transformers, to other sources and let the other sources hold the current. Once the solar winds have passed the planet, these sources will be allowed to release the electricity and getting everything back to normal.  Another method engineers have found out, is to just cut out the power supply, a few hours before the coronal mass ejection reaches the earth, and after it passes the earth, the power supply can be turned back on. Our engineers have constantly been helping humanity come up with effective and practical solutions to real-life problems using science. The only catch is, there is a very high chance of a Coronal Mass Ejection occurring between 2020 and 2050 and is going to be much more powerful than the previous ones. This time, there are much more satellites put up in orbit, and we have all our facilities only because of these satellites. If our engineers, don’t come up with a solution to save our satellites, we might incur much more losses just because of the sheer cost of those satellites, and also lose Internet, and Electric service for a long time. We to date trust our engineers, and now our lives are in their hands. All we can do is hope that engineers can save, billions of dollars of wreckage and losses, and come up with better solutions to escaping a Mass Ejection.

 

The Future of Space Development New Frontiers Trailer

The Futurist Foundation Space Team is here to present our vision for space exploration starting in the 21st century. This video serves both as a motivational piece and prediction of ours regarding space colonization, and as a general thematic overview for a upcoming project of ours where we focus on the stories of future astronauts and technicians embarking on missions to other planets.

Directed and written by Naeem England (Stellarator).
Narrated by Felix T. Video Capture & Editing by Darion Brown (The Photo Guy).
All video footage was captured using the SpaceEngine Universe Simulator: http://spaceengine.org/
The mods used in this video can be found on Steam:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile…
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile…
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile…

Discord: https://discord.gg/u3JM2cu
Website:
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Reddit:
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Colonizing Mars with Nexus Aurora Founder

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Adrian Moisa is the founder of Nexus Aurora, an organization with a focus on gathering like-minded individuals to solve the problems associated with establishing a long-term colony on Mars. They recently placed first place in the Mars Society contest and received a grand prize of $10,000.

Join me today on Future Imminent as I ask him questions about what his team is like, and how his nearly two-decade experience in the business world helps him and his organization.

Growing Plants in Orbit

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In an effort to better understand how plants can help us colonize the cosmos, scientist Matthew G. Lehmitz has been working on something called “PlantSat”, a small satellite which contains a plant, and the plan is to launch it into Orbit… of the freaking Earth.

Space Development & Colonization Timeline

OBJECTIVES of SPACE EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT, COLONIZATION & INDUSTRIALIZATION

The purpose and functions of space activities in the future are as vast and manifold in detail as space itself, so I thought that making a list of these objectives to clarify what we should discuss and present pertaining to space development and colonization would be a good idea.

The entries herein are organized by order of when in the future Humanity may do them, the fulfillment of which is dependent on what was done prior to the entry.  Each entry isn’t exactly a concrete event in of itself, but rather something more along the lines of a subject heading that the Foundation can research and advocate in our space projects, or serve as inspiration for further research. As we work with this material, I hope that we can revise the entries herein to be presented a more realistic chronological order of potential occurrence.

Under the heading of a specific planet or region of space, the entries are presented chronologically, but only in relation to other entries under the same heading. So for example, the events happening around the Moon would not occur at the same time as events around Mars. The idea is to make a spreadsheet that places each event on a timeline. Their position on that timeline is dependent on when their prerequisite events occurred before – so if an orbital ring megastructure is found to be constructed in 2500AD, it must mean that attributed space infrastructure must have been present before then on the timeline. It will be the job of the Foundation’s Space Team to ascribe an approximate date for each of these entries, based on careful modelling.

You may notice that a majority of the objectives presented here are industrial ones. Why focus on such activities for the future? Well, it is my view, one which is shared by other futurists and transhumanists, that interest in space will be driven by industrial aspirations. This fact may be faced with dismay by Space Age scientists and philosophers and those who subscribe to their ethos, who had longed for the exploration of space to be done in the spirit of scientific curiosity, with a respect for the sanctity of a universe untouched by industry. These notions are respectable, and indeed the most desirous for ventures of this kind, but alone cannot sustain a major presence in space. Although it is assumed that some amount of industry in space will occur, it is always unsettling for people to consider disassembling planets as a likely occurrence in the far future, and would like to believe that civilization’s appetite for resources will somehow be satiated. This outlook futurists take as a mere demonstration of ignorance regarding a future civilization‘s aspirations. Such a civilization may be keen on maximising the potential of their technology and society, no doubt seduced by the benefits such optimisation offers.

(Ranked by order of relevance up until the Asteroid Belt, then listing goes off of distance from the sun):

Earth:

(Industry):

  • Increase interest in space
  • Orbital infrastructure (communication satellites)
  • Orbital infrastructure (manned scientific) & Orbital infrastructure (tourism)
  • Orbital infrastructure (power satellites) & High Orbit infrastructure (astronomy)
  • Orbital infrastructure (assembly factories)
  • Orbital infrastructure (space ports)
  • Orbital infrastructure (agricultural)
  • Orbital infrastructure (sky hook)
  • Drag in NEO asteroid from for study
  • Input of asteroid / Lunar/ other resource sources used for the construction of massive Earth-based complexes
  • Orbital infrastructure (climate control)
  • Space habitats (Bernal Sphere, Stanford Torus)
  • Space habitats (O’Neill Cylinders)
  • Orbital Ring construction & Space elevator(s)
  • Consecutive Orbital Ring construction
  • Orbital infrastructure (Ribbonworld)
  • Space habitats (McKendree Cylinders, Bishop Rings)
  • Complete Earthly ecumonopolis
  • Strategic terramorphing
  • Birch planet shell-world construction
  • Planetary Redeployment?

(Political):

Increase interest in space  & establish a code of law for space exploration and development

Unite the Earth’s nations in exploring space

Living in space?

Address the emergence of space-based nations and organizations & address the purpose and functioning of conflict in space, be it orbital, on other planets or in deep space.

(Scientific):

  • Increase interest in space
  • Better ground-based observories
  • Orbital infrastructure (satellites)
  • Orbital infrastructure (manned scientific)
  • High Orbit infrastructure (astronomy)
  • Orbital infrastructure (agricultural)
  • Drag in asteroid from belt for study
  • Space habitats (Bernal Sphere, Stanford Torus)
  • Space habitats (O’Neill Cylinders)
  • Space habitats (McKendree Cylinders, Bishop Rings)
  • Strategic terramorphing
  • Birch planet shellworld construction?

Moon:

(Exploration / post-Artemis years):

  • Explore and assess more locations for inhabitation
  • Assess the potential for life inhabiting the body, past or present
  • Found permanent manned colonies on the Moon.

(Industry):

  • Assess locations and materials available for industry
  • Investigate the technologies used for these activities
  • Orbital infrastructure (communication satellites)
  • Orbital infrastructure (manned scientific) & Orbital infrastructure (tourism)
  • Set up experimental industrial facilities & Orbital infrastructure (power satellites)
  • Set up fully inhabited colonies with the relevant life support and energy requirements
  • Orbital infrastructure (assembly factories)
  • Orbital infrastructure (space ports)
  • Build better power production facilities & Orbital infrastructure (climate control)
  • Begin full Moon mining industry
  • Construct Lunar cities and total infrastructure for industry & begin construction of mega-structures to facilitate the export of materials (space elevator or mass-drivers)
  • Space habitats (Bernal Sphere, Stanford Torus)
  • Lunar and Asteroid resource input used for the construction of the Lunar ecumenopolis & Space habitats (O’Neill Cylinders, Bishop Rings)
  • Paraterraformation of the Moon
  • Space habitats (McKendree Cylinders, Banks orbital) & Consecutive Orbital Ring Construction
  • Orbital infrastructure (Ribbonworlds)
  • “Hollow Moon”/ “Moonship”?

(Political):

  • Establish a code of law for Moon exploration and development & unite the Earth’s
  • Nations in exploring and colonizing the Moon
  • Address the emergence of Moon-based nations and organizations
  • Address the purpose and functioning of conflict on the Moon
  • Examine the nature of future Earth-Moon relations.

(Scientific):

  • Examine the effects of Lunar existence on the Human body & Perform     experiments that deal with the Lunar environment
  • Assess the viability of growing food, recycling water, gathering fuel and harvesting energy on the Moon
  • Assess the viability of doing industry on the Moon
  • Perform experimental living and industry on the Moon
  • Build astronomical observatories in suitable locations on the Moon
  • Investigate and follow the phenomenon of long term habitation of the Moon.

Mars:

(See the Moon for a general overview of plans)  ->  full terraformation or paraterraformation  ->  Birchplanet shell world Mars?

The Asteroid Belt:

  • Assess the best asteroids for harvesting
  • Make launch costs go down for economic missions & Set up experimental materials processor on NEO asteroid
  • Send automated probes to asteroids for preliminary industry prepping
  • Drag back small NEO asteroid to Earth orbit for study
  • Set up self assembling, autonomous drone craft on asteroids for materials harvesting (returns materials either via periodically returning drones or human recovery crews)
  • Send larger droneships w. ion drives or similar to drag back belt asteroids for local harvesting
  • Send manned crews out to oversee operations in the Belt & Found permanent unmanned industrial facilities in the Belt
  • Found Manned Industrial Colonies in the Belt on largest asteroids (Ceres, Pallas, Vesta etc)
  • Space habitats (Bernal Sphere, Stanford Torus) & Asteroid Brains
  • Space habitats (O’Neill Cylinders, Bishop Rings)
  • Space habitats (McKendree Cylinders, Banks Orbital)
  • Moon Brains
  • Dyson Swarm locality (Jupiter Brains, Rung Worlds, topopolises, Ring Worlds).

Solar System at Large (Lagrange Points, Interplanetary Space, Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud Localities etc):

  • Investigate interplanetary space for potential usage, especially in regards to the establishment of artificial habitats, laser batteries, power gathering facilities and research posts
  • Assess all laws attributed to interplanetary space  ->  Build the first experimental facilities as described above
  • Set up permanent artificial habitats and other structures as described above, and in other entries under “Orbital habitats”, including asteroid-brains
  • Construct Dyson Swarm Locality (including Moon Brains and Jupiter Brains)
  • Matrioshka Brain stellar engine?

Sol:

  • Perform the required in-depth science to truly understand our parent star, for the purposes of scientific appreciation, industrial needs and potential colonization
  • Build stellazers of varying frequencies for solar-sail technology and also use said stellazers to liberate certain materials from the solar mass to use in industry
  • Construct solar-lifting facilities for full scale resource harvesting and solar life-extension
  • Begin construction of Dyson Swarm Locality & Construct Nicole-Dyson beam stellazer batteries
  • Begin consecutive Orbital Ring construction for colonial purposes
  • Matrioshka Brain?
  • Stellar engine?

Mercury:

(See the Moon for a general overview of plans)  ->  paraterraformation/ worldship conversion/ complete disassembly?

Venus:

(See the Moon for a general overview of plans, with the caveat of most planetary infrastructure existing in Venus’s atmosphere until temperatures and pressures normalize on the surface)  ->  terraformation using solar shades, cometary bombardment and atmospheric seeding  ->  Birch Planet shell-world Venus?

Jupiter:

  • Investigation of Jupiter’s atmosphere and immediate regional space with the aim of assessing its planetary characteristics and resource availability & Orbital infrastructure (communication satellites)
  • Sending automated probes for atmospheric and geomagnetic research
  • Sending automated probes for experimental atmospheric harvesting
  • Establishing a drone-based industry harvesting the atmosphere of Jupiter and shipping the gains back to Earth
  • Establishing permanent droneships to collect resources, with returns being sent back automatically or manually by manned missions & Orbital infrastructure (power satellites)
  • Orbital infrastructure (manned scientific)
  • Establish Jovian system manned colonies (human existence on Jupiter itself is impossible due the planet’s gravity, however specialized high-g clades might exist there)
  • Build permanent floating automatic cloud-harvesters in the atmosphere of Jupiter
  • Orbital infrastructure (assembly factories)
  • Orbital infrastructure (space ports)
  • Construction of Orbital Habitats (all) & Consecutive Orbital Ring construction for mass atmospheric harvesting and export
  • Birchplanet shell-world conversion using layers of Ribbonworlds, Orbital Rings, Banks Orbitals or Rung Worlds
  • Interstellar fusion-candle worldship conversion? Complete atmospheric dissolution and Birch-planet shellworld conversion or planetary disassembly?

Jovian Satellite System & Greek Camps:  

(See the development plans for the Moon and the Asteroid Belt, respectively, for this group of objects and the space they inhabit. All non-Galilean satellites are destined for complete disassembly)

Saturn:

  • Investigation of Saturn’s atmosphere and immediate regional space with the aim of assessing its planetary characteristics and resource availability & Orbital infrastructure (communication satellites)
  • Sending automated probes for atmospheric and geomagnetic research
  • Sending automated probes for experimental atmospheric harvesting
  • Establishing a drone-based industry harvesting the atmosphere of Jupiter and shipping the gains back to Earth
  • Establishing permanent droneships to collect resources, with returns being sent back automatically or manually by manned missions & Orbital infrastructure (power satellites)
  • Orbital infrastructure (manned scientific)
  • Establish Saturnian system manned colonies
  • Build permanent floating automatic cloud-harvesters in the atmosphere of Saturn  ->      Orbital infrastructure (assembly factories)
  • Orbital infrastructure (space ports)
  • Construct cloud habitats in the clouds of Saturn (Saturn‘s more Earth-like gravity would allow for human inhabitation on Saturn itself) & Construction of Orbital Habitats (all)
  • Consecutive Orbital Ring construction for mass atmospheric harvesting and export & Chandelier Cities constructed down from the Orbital Rings
  • Birchplanet shell-world conversion using layers of Ribbonworlds, Orbital Rings, Banks Orbitals or Rung Worlds
  • Interstellar fusion-candle worldship conversion? Complete atmospheric dissolution and Birch-planet shell-world conversion or planetary disassembly?

Saturnian Satellite System:

(See the development plans for the Moon and the Asteroid Belt, respectively, for this group of objects and the space they inhabit. All non-major satellites are destined for complete disassembly)

The Ice-Giants:

(See the development plans for Saturn and its satellite system for these objects and their region of space)

Pluto:

(See the Moon for a general overview of plans)

Trans-Neptunian Objects:

(See the Asteroid Belt and Solar System at large entries for plans concerning these objects)

Interstellar:

  • Investigate methods of propulsion by category of attainable sublight speeds & the affiliated support technology used in such systems for the purposes of interstellar exploration and colonization.
  • Establish objectives for interstellar exploration and colonization.
  • Send out unmanned, small and inexpensive interstellar probes (project Starshot-level).
  • Send out larger unmanned interstellar probes (Project Orion, or Project Daedalus-level).
  • Establish interplanetary colonies, and finally civilizations, and test the durability of society in isolation.
  • Explore theories of governance and economy over interstellar distances.
  • Send out precursor and prep craft to nearby systems.
  • Find the required source of resources needed for small interstellar vessel construction.
  • Establish infrastructure for the construction of small colonial interstellar vessels (seed ships).
  • Find the required source of resources needed for large interstellar vessel construction.
  • Establish infrastructure for the construction of large colonial interstellar vessels (Generation ships, Sleeper ships, Methuselah ships).
  • Waves of colonization.
  • Interstellar civilizations?
  • Worldships?
  • Stellar Engines?
  • Pan-galactic optimization?

This article is a work in progress. Please leave a comment or periodically check back for updated content 🙂