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How long would you live for in space (with no gravity)?


Mr Rayon
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I heard reading somewhere saying that if you live in a planet with a weaker gravitational force, you'll live longer. So, say you lived in space your whole life, with no gravity, would this extent your life expectancy significantly assuming health clinics and other necessities and lifes little pleasures were all readily accessible and available and identical in every nature to those we have in planet Earth. If all that's different is that there's no gravity, how long would one live for, in space?

 

This is just another hypothetical question, if humans ever do live in space, in the future.

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won't microgravity cause obesity and the loss of bones and muscle tissue?

I'm not sure about obesity, but bone and muscle loss as well as immune issues are a part of extended zero-g. There's a reason astronauts have to excercise all the time. If anything, you should live shorter in space.

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I know it's a kind of a convention in science fiction. I'm guess coming from the idea that aging is gravity slowly killing you (which in turn comes from all the sagging, I would imagine). But I don't think there's any actual evidence for it, just because nobody has lived long enough in space to judge (but they have to develop bone loss, etc.). What kind of mechanism might slow aging?

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I had always assumed that the extended life in science fiction was merely that the author presumed that by the point in history that we become space-faring we will be better at preventing and curing disease and possibly have some form of gene therapy to combat natural ageing in our genes (telomere extensions or some such) whilst avoiding cancer. Everything I have heard about life in zero gravity tallies with above posts that it is not particularly good for you.

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I had always assumed that the extended life in science fiction was merely that the author presumed that by the point in history that we become space-faring we will be better at preventing and curing disease and possibly have some form of gene therapy to combat natural ageing in our genes (telomere extensions or some such) whilst avoiding cancer. Everything I have heard about life in zero gravity tallies with above posts that it is not particularly good for you.

 

I know I've read several stories specifically involving gravity's effect, for example in one Arthur C. Clarke story where it's discovered that the permanent moon colonists have about double the life expectancy of people on Earth.

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Larry Niven wrote about human life in zero G in his novel The Integral Trees Humans living in a smoke ring around a neutron star. He describes in detail what it would look like to see the magnetic effects of the neutron star close up. (The steam powered rockets the humans made were cool, I think that was in the second book)

Edited by Moontanman
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Astronauts have to exercise to combat the muscle-wasting effects of zero gravity. We die because our bodies become more inefficient with time and tissues aren't replaced as effectively as they were originally.

 

Does muscle atrophy necessarily cause problems unless the astronaut (or whatever) goes back into an environment with gravity (like earth).

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