July 11, 2017 Zimmerman Space Show podcast

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  • wayne

    Referencing the Chinese experiment’s with manipulating exposure to light and potential application to Moon based settlement.

    Circadian rhythm’s are ubiquitous to most all life on Earth, and they generally follow a 24 hour(ish) cycle. Exposure to sunlight is heavily implicated in controlling this, although cave-dwelling animals also display certain circadian cycles. (Gravity as well, is implicated.)
    We humans in particular are creatures of a 24 hour day/night cycle, it’s hard wired into the equipment.
    For the Moon– you are going to need lighting that replicates the spectrum & the day/night cycle of Earth.
    Humans can tolerate extremes of light/dark cycles (as long as sleep/awake, remains steady) but performance is sacrificed in the short term, and longer term people can get clinically impaired. (a small percentage, but it’s not zero.)
    -If you want to drive people literally nuts– manipulate their sleep/awake schedule and deprive them of high-quality lighting.

  • Wayne: You miss the point, which is what I think the Chinese actually wanted. They really aren’t testing whether humans can deal with doing without sunlight for a period of time. The bigger problem is engineering the facility so that it can function adequately during those long sunless periods. This is not a simple thing, as the temperature swings alone on the Moon can cross hundreds of degrees.

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