Short Radius Centrifuge
A view of a NASA-provided Short Radius Centrifuge at UTMB in Galveston is reminiscent of similar equipment from 40 years ago when astronauts were training for the initial giant leap to the Moon. With the national impetus to return humans to the Moon and make trips to Mars and beyond, new artificial gravity studies are about to begin to find answers to a number of questions regarding human beings' ability to withstand the rigors of such travel. A major undertaking in artificial gravity research will begin this summer at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Overseen by NASA's Johnson Space Center, the centrifuge will be used to protect normal human test subjects from deconditioning when confined to strict bed rest in UTMB's National Institutes of Health-sponsored General Clinical Research Center. This study, which supports NASA's Artificial Gravity Biomedical Research Project, will allow researchers to study for the first time, on a systematic basis, how artificial gravity might be used as a multi-system countermeasure against the effects of prolonged microgravity on the human body.
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