Why are weightlessness studies needed?
There are many reasons to study weightlessness and micro-gravitational fields. Knowledge of microgravity and its effects help us in building satellites, develop new materials, and do experiments in the fields of material and life sciences.
The primary reason to study weightlessness is to understand the effect of space travel on an astronaut’s body. Scientist must explore and experiment with samples from outer space.
The results of experiments that are done on Earth are usually distorted because of the extra force of gravity acting on it. In space however, since the gravity is balanced with the centrifugal force scientists can execute experiments in micro-gravity conditions. This is very apparent in fluid behavior in material science studies. For example, water flows as a stream on Earth, but in space, it flows in bubbles. Without gravitational effects, the temperature difference in fluids doesn’t create effects such as:
Absences of these effects imply that one can measure the thermo-physical properties with greater accuracy.
In the areas of cellular biology, scientists have observed that eukaryotes and prokaryotes function differently in micro gravity conditions. This is a advanced area of research for scientists who study life processes in plants, animals, and humans. In micro-gravity conditions proteins grow as perfect crystals. This has lead to unraveling of a protein’s role in either curing or producing various diseases. Subtle changes health under micro-gravity conditions further augments this study.
Written By: Shreya