Re: Mission to Mars, medical aspects
- Yes, very interesting. C S Lewis's grasp of science was shaky in
the extreme. In some cases he ignored it: he knew that the idea
of "canals" on Mars has been exploded before he wrote "Out of the
Silent Planet". When he had Ramsom bathing in the celestial light he
was making a riposte to Pascal who had worried about the vast
emptiness of space, and asked why God had created it. Lewis was
suggesting that space is in fact full. Here he may have been right:
there is now talk of a structure to the vacuum of space, and of "dark
matter" filling all the universe.
As regards the problems described in the article, most of them
have been handled in science fiction. The lack of gravity has been
covered by having the space ship shaped like a cylinder and spinning
on its axis. Unfortunately, the cylinder must be quite large in both
directions for this to work. Also there must be a part of the ship
which is not spinning, so that the pilot can see where he is going.
Getting from the spinning to the non-spinning part causes problems.
Protectiong from radiation has been handled by having a layer of
ice round the ship. That is, take a lot of water up with you and let
it freeze in space. Unfortunately, it will also evaporate off, so
even the ice must be enclosed in a shell of metal or something.
In the end you have a large cylinder with a metal hull, then a
layer of ice or some medium which absorbs radiation, then another
hull. At this poiint the whole thing gets so cumbersome that the
author decide to send his travellers by hyperspace.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Stolzi@a... wrote:
> This article is extremely interesting to anyone with interest in
> travel, but I post it here for another reason. One of the chief
hazards it posits
> is the danger that cosmic radiation will greatly increase the risk
of cancer in
> space voyagers.
> This puts an ironic note to CS Lewis' imagination of
Ransom "bathing" in the
> beneficent rays of the Field of Arbol. And even more ironic
> Lewis' beloved wife died of cancer which was most likely due to
> radiation in her childhood.
> Diamond Proudbrook
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]