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Spaceflight human physiology research will improve wound care on terra firma

02 September 2021
5 min read
Volume 5 · Issue 4

‘For some time, I thought Apollo 13 was a failure. I was disappointed I didn't get to land on the moon. But actually, it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened.’

Jim Lovell, Captain United States Navy, Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13. Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Space Medal of Honor, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Spaceflight development has encountered spectacular success and dramatic setbacks. Most setbacks, in retrospect, accelerated subsequent achievements and margins of crew safety. Highly trained NASA astronauts and their extensive ground-based network of support women and men have set the standard for US access to low-Earth orbit (LEO). Inspirational and aspirational civilian astronauts have now arrived, knocking on the door of commercial launchpads and space capsule hatches. A new dawn of travel arrived when Charles Lindbergh broke the transatlantic barrier in 1927. Passengers began boarding routine transatlantic flights a short time later in 1945. Imagine Lindbergh's thoughts and reflections as he witnessed the President Kennedy-inspired era of moon landings, standing among VIPs at the Saturn V launch site for Apollo 11 in 1969, having met with Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins pre-launch. In a similar fashion, we are witnessing the virtual baton being passed from government-backed astronauts and cosmonauts to those that venture in suborbital flights, and the four person civilian crew of Inspiration4, led by experienced jet pilot Jared Isaacman. His team includes a crew member who is thriving as a paediatric cancer survivor with a prosthetic bone. For three days, at an orbit higher than the International Space Station (ISS), with views of the cosmos that only a privileged few can dream of experiencing, they will be exposed to the full glory and consequences of crossing the 100km high atmospheric-space boundary known as the Kármán line.

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