Category: Projects 2017 / Research Briefs
Space human_Kris Li
For project Political Realities, I would like to explore the psychological and sociological characteristics of a human society as they establish residence/colony in the form of a interstellar space vessel.
I plan to research and investigate the following areas:
- The structure of a human society
- The effect space travel has on the human body
- The current/future of galactic colonization, scientific or fictional
- The psychological effect of isolation
- interstellar travel
- social isolation
- branches of government
- social constructionism
I began my research by looking into the physiological effect that space travel can have on humans. One specific case study that has been well documented is the time that U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko spent on board the International Space Station (ISS). (The longest consecutive spaceflight was done by Valeri Polyakov, who spent nearly 438 days on the former Russian Mir space station.)
The effects take form both physiologically and psychologically. For example, as humans spend time in space, they would gradually experience muscle deterioration and loss of bone density. Their body fluid redistributes and drifts towards the head, causing neck vessels to swell and symptoms close to the common cold such as nasal congestion. The absence of gravity would also cause the spine to expand and grow up to 3%. Physiological effects include depression, and sleep deprivation that is caused by a messed-up circadian rhythm, or light-dark cycle. Overall, the high-energy cosmic radiation would leads to long-term health risks.
One can often find references to human habitants in space in science fiction novels, such as The Three-Body Problem trilogy by Hugo Award for Best Novel winner Cixin Liu. He raised the interesting prediction that in the not-so-distant future, human as a whole would speak Chinese or Esperanto – the constructed international auxiliary language (Esperanto has been placed in many proposed political situations. The most popular of these is the Europe–Democracy–Esperanto, which aims to establish Esperanto as the official language of the European Union. In the final book Death’s End, human faced the invasion of Trisomatics—an alien species. A fleet of soldiers were able to escape the solar system, thus an entire generation of humans is now born in the space shuttle and will continue to live their life without ever coming into contact with earth. These soldiers and their descendants refuse to recognize themselves as part of the human world and declares themselves as their own independent political entity. Another example of a unique social condition of people living in territories that are previously not inhabited, for example the Antarctica. The film “The Chef of South Polar” tells a story of how Nishimura, the head chef who is assigned to a south polar mission, experience one existential crisis after another with the other crew members in the icy cold. They live in an isolated station and have no contact with the outside world, both psychologically and in terms of food supply, which plays a huge role in affecting their state of mind.
What happens to your body when you’re in space
Why time is a social Construct