Friday, April 5, 2019

Zero-G Blood And The Many Horrors Of Space Surgery

In Expanse Season 3 Episode 11 "Fallen World", a medic described the risks of injury in microgravity. He said, "there is nothing you can do for the wounded in zero G except ease their pain. Without gravity, wounds can't drain. Blood pools and clots, tissue swells, any internal bleeding in a death sentence." I wondered if there were medical studies that supported this theory. Here's what I found.

Source: Vice

no astronaut has ever had a major injury or needed surgery in space. If humans ever again venture past low Earth orbit and outward toward, say, Mars, someone is going to get hurt


In space, blood can splatter even more than it usually does on Earth, unconstrained by gravity. Or it can pool into a kind of dome around a wound or incision, making it hard to see the actual trauma. (Fun fact: If you are bleeding more than 100 milliliters per minute, you are probably doomed.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Favorite Movies and TV Series About Space

Below is a list of space themed movies and TV series that I recommend and challenge everyone to watch as many as possible.  Some are excellent and others are terrible, but all are recommended for various reasons.  These documentaries have tremendous educational value, much of this science fiction is based upon a combination of settled science, theoretical concepts, speculation and scientifically impossible events.  As I watch these, over and again, I will share notes with careful warnings about spoiler alerts that should be reviewed after your first viewing.

The next few decades will be paramount in the history of human space travel. Be entertained while educating and preparing yourself mentally for the complex scientific and ethical challenges we will experience in our lifetime.

Movies About Space Exploration:

The Right Stuff (1983) Prime Video - This is the story of the space program from the tie when Chuck Yaeger broke to sound barrier through Project Mercury.

Project Gemini: Bridge to the Moon - Documentary about Gemini.

In the Shadow of the Moon (2007) - This is a Documentary about the Apollo astronauts who landed on the moon.

Apollo 12 (1996) - Documentary about Apollo 12 with interviews of all three crewmembers and top officials.

Apollo 13 - The story of Apollo 13 from the perspective of the astronauts and Mission Control.

Apollo 13 (1994) - Documentary about Apollo 13

13 Factors that Saved Apollo 13 - This is an amazing documentary of the disastrous Apollo 13 mission.

Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo - Great
Space Station
The Wonderful: Stories from the Space Station -This documentary features stunning visuals and interviews with astronauts to build a snapshot of life on the International Space Station.

The Farthest: Voyager in Space - This 2017 documentary tells the 40 year history of the Voyager 1 and 2 probes from design and launch in 1977 to their exploration of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, until they left our solar system and are now in interstellar space. It won Best Feature Documentary at Ireland's 2018 IFTA Film and Drama Awards.

Kingdom of Saturn: Cassini's Epic Quest Prime Video - Documentary about the Cassini spacecraft.

The Martian - An astronaut fights to survive after he is stranded on Mars.

Gravity (2013) Prime Video - A routine spacewalk becomes disastrous when satellites collide and cause a cascade of collisions in low earth orbit.  Debris destroys the shuttle and space stations and astronauts struggle to survive.

Space cowboys (2000) Prime Video - Forty years after their original space mission was scrapped, a retired Air Force "space cowboy" leads a group of former astronauts on a dangerous mission.

2001: A Space Odyssey Prime Video - Director Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece about a space voyage to Jupiter with a misbehaving computer control system.  NOTE: Do some reading about a "Von Neumann Probe" as that's what I think the monoliths are.

2010: The Year We Make Contact Prime Video - An American astronaut is sent on a joint U.S.-Soviet space mission to Jupiter to find out what happened to the missing crew of the original Jupiter mission.

Galaxy Quest Prime Video - The alumni cast of a cult space TV show have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.

Moon (2009) Prime Video - Sam Bell is alone on the Moon, nearing the end of his 3-year-long contract with Lunar Industries, mining Earth's primary source of energy on the dark side of the moon.

Solaris (1972) (Russian with English Subtitles) Prime Video - Ground control has been receiving mysterious transmissions from the three remaining residents of the Solaris space station. A cosmonaut and psychologist are dispatched to investigate.

Solaris (2002) Prime Video - A psychologist investigates mysterious happenings aboard a space station in this remake of the Russian sci-fi classic.

Europa Report - An international crew goes on a privately funded mission to search for life in the sea under the ice on Jupiter's moon Europa.

2013 Origin Unknown (2018) Prime Video - After a deadly crash a mission commander assists an artificial intelligence system to uncover mysterious object under the surface of mars.

The Last Days on Mars - Astronauts discover fossilized evidence of life on Mars.

Love (2011) NetflixPrime Video - An astronaut spends years alone on the space station wondering what happened after loosing radio contact with Earth.

Marooned (1970) - Three astronauts are unable to reenter Earth's atmosphere.

Stranded - The crew of a lunar space station battles a shape-shifting alien life form.

Forbidden Planet (1956) Prime Video - A dutiful robot named Robby speaks 188 languages. An underground lair provides astonishing evidence of a populace a million years more advanced than Earthlings.

Lost in Space (1998) - See also the TV Series in the list below.  The Robinson family After crash-landing on an alien planet, the Robinson family fight against all odds to survive and escape, but they're surrounded by hidden dangers.go to space and struggle to survive as they find a way home.

Serenity - First watch the Firefly TV series listed below and then see Joss Whedon's movie.

Gattaca - A young man who is born naturally aspires to be an astronaut in a world where one must be genetically engineered to qualify for the space program and many other aspects of society.

Wing Commander - Two young space fighter pilots must warn Earth about an attack from an evil empire.

Starship Troopers - Warriors travel to the home world of giant bugs that spit fire, eat brains and attacked Earth.

Alien Arrival - An escaped prisoner crash-landed on a moon where she struggles to survive.

The Beyond (2018) Prime Video - Astronauts are augmented with robotics and sent through a wormhole.

The Titan - Much of the Earth is uninhabitable due to overpopulation, climate change and nuclear fallout. Scientists perform genetic engineering experiments on volunteers from the military in an attempt to evolve the human race for life on Titan.

The Cloverfield Paradox - A multinational crew test a particle accelerator with hopes of solving an energy crisis but the experiment goes terribly wrong.

Exploding Sun - An experimental space shuttle is hit by a solar flare during its maiden voyage and hurtles toward the sun.

Infini - An elite search and rescue team investigate a biological outbreak on an off-world mining-facility.

Cargo Space is Cold (2012) Prime Video - (Deutsch with English Subtitles)

Orbiter 9 (Spanish with English subtitles) - A young girl spent all her life in a space pod after her birth and is traveling from Earth to a distant planet.

Battle for Terra - This is an animation about the peaceful aliens on a planet that face destruction by the surviving humans who want to settle there.

Dark Space - Six young friends go on a leisure spacecraft and try to survive after crash-landing on an alien planet.

The Search For Life: The Drake Equation - This is a good documentary about the Frank Drake's equation and how is is used in our search for life on other worlds.

Lifepod (1993) - This is a futuristic retelling of Hitchcock's classic thriller in which nine passengers escape a luxury space liner that is destroyed.

Solis (2018) - An asteroid mining engineer wakes up in an escape pod that is hurtling toward the Sun.

Incoming - Not very good? I didn't finish it.

Predator and Alien movies - See IMDB for recommended viewing chronological order. Viewing in order of release date jumps around in time and seems very disjointed.

Alien: Covenant (2017) IMDB, Prime Video -

Movies About Topics That Might Be Of Interest If You Like Space Exploration:
This is intended as a section for movies that get an honorable mention from me because they seem related to space but there are very few or no scenes about space.

Starman (1984) - Prime Video Jeff Bridges stars as an alien from a distant planet who accepts the invitation found on the gold record installed on the Voyager 2 space probe and visits Earth.

TV Series About Space Exploration:

Space Race - This BBC documentary miniseries covers the space race from the end of World War II until the Moon Landing.  I strongly suggest this series for exposure to some of the lessor known and more uncomfortable parts of history such as Wernher von Braun's complicity in war crimes.

MARS (2016) - National Geographic channel created this amazing mix of documentary and sci-fi about the first to explore, colonize and mine Mars.

Disasters in Space Prime Video - Documentary about how NASA dealt with many disasters

BattleStar Galactica: The Mini-Series (2003) - This is a reboot of the original series from the 70s.

Battlestar Galactica (2004) - Watch the Mini-Series First, then this series and finally Caprica.

Caprica (2011) - This is a prequel to the Battlestar Galactica reboot series.

Star Trek: Enterprise - This series is a prequel to the original Star Trek series and movies from the 1960s.  The Enterprise pre-dates the United Federation of Planets

Star Trek: Discovery - This series comes chronologically after Enterprise and before the original series.

Star Trek: The Original Series - 

Star Trek: The Next Generation

The 100 - Post-apocalyptic life on space stations and return to Earth

Lost in Space (2018)  See also the 1998 movie in the list above.  Human survival on Earth is at risk and the Robinson family are among the few who pass tests and are selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world.

Extant (2014) Astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) tries to reconnect with her husband, John (Goran Visnjic), and son Ethan (Pierce Gagnon) , after returning home to earth after a 13-month solo mission in outer space. The series integrates memories from missions throughout her career and shared experiences with other astronauts and scientists. Astronaut Harmon Kryger (Brad Beyer), doctor Sam Barton (Camryn Manheim) 

Ascension - This series follows a secret century-long mission that launches in 1963 to colonize a new world.

Farscape - An astronaut accidentally passes through a wormhole and spends the series with alien fugitives on a sentient spaceship.

Firefly - This cult series follows the eclectic crew of a small ship called the Serenity.

Babylon 5 - A giant spaceship serves as a sort of UN in space where ambassadors from many alien races meet and work out their differences.

The New Frontier - Each episode covers a Space Exploration topic.

Dark Matter - The crew of a ship awakens with no memories, suspect each other and have to slowly get to now each other and build trust.  They learn about evil corporations that rule the galaxy as they visit many space stations and worlds.

Terra Nova - Refugees from Earth land and settle on a mysterious planet.

Outcasts - Refugees from a nuclear devastated Earth settle on a planet

Earth 2 - Explorers establish an outpost on a planet where they face hostile natives.

TV Series About Topics That Might Be Of Interest If You Like Space Exploration:

Ancient Aliens - This series discusses theories about why some believe that aliens may have visited Earth in the ancient past.  Ancient alien theories could solve many mysteries on Earth. You'll learn about the similarities in design features that have been discovered at the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire in India, the Mayan cities in Latin America and the Pyramids in Egypt.  You'll also hear theories about some of the design features that cannot be reproduced with modern technology.

The 4400 - People disappear across multiple decades and are all returned at once.  Everybody thinks it was aliens.  Interesting topics include genetic engineering, special powers, time and/or space travel.

Continuum - A detective from the future travels to present day Vancouver in search of terrorists from the future. Interesting topics include time travel.