Technological challenges faced by the first people living permanently on the Moon, Mars and perhaps other bodies in the solar system are immense and low gravity will present significant problems, particularly when it comes to human health, gestation and infant development. Here, Dr L Joseph Parker examines some of the health problems of low gravity living and offers one innovative solution that might one day provide a viable option for an artificial gravity system.
More and more nations and private companies are setting goals of establishing human colonies in the solar system. While early settlers on the Moon and Mars will be carefully selected with precautions against reproduction, the permanent colonisation of these and other destinations will require colonists to partake in normal human reproduction cycles.
In the excitement to develop the technologies necessary to accomplish their goals it is important to include the long-term health of colonists.