Lunar exploration and the advancement of biomedical research: a physiologist's view.
Over the next few years, it will become apparent just how important lunar exploration is to biomedical research and vice versa, and how critical both are to the future of human spaceflight. NASA's Project Constellation should put a new lunar-capable vehicle into service by 2014 that will rely on proven Space Shuttle components and allow four astronauts to spend 7 d on the lunar surface. A modern space transportation system opens up a unique opportunity in the space sciences--the establishment of a permanent lunar laboratory for the physical and life sciences. This commentary presents a rationale for focusing American efforts in space on such a Moon base in order to promote understanding of the long-term physiological effects of living on a planetary body outside the Van Allen belts.
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