Cat lovers rejoice! There is new research from studying cat behavior that suggests our feline friends can assist in sending astronauts on a mission to Mars.
The exploration of Mars, and the thought process behind the different theories for getting there, have been in the works for years now.
It’s been found that space travel can have adverse effects on astronauts, weakening their bones and joints, causing fatigue and making them susceptible to illness, and creating a sedentary lifestyle for the duration of their travel to and from their destination.
Since a mission to Mars currently takes quite a long time, roughly six months, the probability of these effects is much greater. Scientists have recently found a possible solution to this problem – cats. Well, specifically a cat’s purr.
The Power of the Purr
The study of cat behavior has always been in a category all its own because the species is so different than others. So how does a cat’s purr have to offer? According to many scientists and doctors, a lot. A cat’s purr creates vibrations that range from 20-140 Hz, which is known to be therapeutic and healing. Pet owners are known to be exposed to these frequencies and reap the benefits.
Cat owners have 40% less risk of heart attack, and also have lower blood pressure that people who don’t own a feline. This cat behavior is also known to contribute to the healing of broken bones, tendons and ligaments.
These factors all come into play in space as well. When astronauts travel, they are at risk for some of these issues, like sore muscles, etc. By creating these same vibrations for travel, the astronauts are more able to acclimate to their new climate and maintain an optimal level of fitness.
The Purr: taking this cat behavior to Space
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In space, astronauts do not have the ability to exercise regularly. As a result, they can experience up to 1-2% bone loss per month. The solution for this is quite simple – suits. These suits, which look a lot like diving suits, are able to simulate the effects gravity on Earth has on our bodies. They work much like the way a compression garment or sleeve on your arm or leg would.
The Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit is currently still in the development stage at MIT. The suit is designed to be too short, which forces the astronauts shoulders down toward their feet. This creates a compression and aids in keeping the astronaut’s bones from any possible deterioration while on their mission to Mars. The compression is how the suit will simulate the gravitational force on Earth.
While the suit is still being developed, it is one huge step in the right direction for space exploration and travel. The suit will allow for longer trips as well, which can be more efficient in terms of money spent, man-hours used, and discoveries made. This may turn out to be much more revolutionary than we think, and as a result, we will be able to set more attainable goals in the future.