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“Medical Moonshots”: Surviving and Thriving in Space
This year, to commemorate 50 years since the Apollo moon landing, the ANU College of Health & Medicine Dean’s Lecture Series is titled Medical Moonshots, and focuses on innovative solutions to the biggest health challenges facing our nation and the world.
The 21st century marks the beginning of a new era of space exploration with the introduction of large-scale private spaceflight. With the advent of low-cost reusable rockets and companies focusing on space tourism, space travel has never been as accessible as it is today. However for future space travellers, there are dramatic and long lasting effects of space travel on the human body, many of which are not yet understood.
In this presentation, Dr Emma Tucker will discuss some of the more significant medical conditions encountered by astronauts with an emphasis on the normal pressure, “zero” gravity environment of the International Space Station and the more dramatic, and generally fatal consequences to the human body in a rapid decompression scenario.
Space tourism will open up space travel to the general population as early as later this year. With this there is the expectation of ensuring the health and safety of space tourists, such that, the human race not only survives but thrives in space.
About the speaker
Dr Emma Tucker is an Australian astrophysicist and medical doctor whose unique background allows her to study the effects of space travel on the human body. After completing a PhD in astrophysics and then a medical degree, she accepted to do an aerospace medicine clerkship at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas. Emma is currently a medical doctor at the Calvary Emergency Department in Canberra and does research in space medicine with a special interest in space tourism and long-duration space flight.