Human Resources was my senior thesis project while attending SCAD the University for Creative Careers. The proposal is that instead of preparing the human body for long distance space travel, the ideal body should be made. By replacing or improving parts of the body that are most damaged by the absence of gravity, astronauts could avoid the complications of a body that has not evolved to thrive outside of its natural habitat.
Currently, there are laws set in place that do not allow for the dismemberment of body parts if they do not pose a threat to survival. HR demonstrates surgical procedures that could be taken in order to improve the body once an astronaut has left the jurisdiction of Earth’s laws. Once people are free of these laws, their bodies can be optimized for tasks otherwise outside of normal human capabilities, such as: customizable limbs, and heightened senses providing critical information for a new environment
A lack of gravity has been documented to cause fluid pressure on the back of the eyeballs, distorting the vision of astronauts who are on missions exceeding three months. The change of shape causes permanent damage for some. These symptoms can take years to improve for some astronauts after they have returned to Earth. This means that if they were not to return to Earth’s specific gravity, their eyes might not correct themselves. In this case a procedure to negate the effects of zero gravity is imperative.
The mask serves two purposes in the procedure. The first step is sedating the astronaut. By biting the rubber mouthpiece, breaking the seal, and sedatives are released. With the eyelids held open, two drills remove the pupil and iris from the eyes while a vacuum removes all waste material through a small hole in the center of the drill, and deposits it into a chamber in the upper part of the mask. Once the removal process is complete, the eye inserts are put in place.
The inserts are designed to act as a replacement for the rods and cones by tapping into the optic nerve. Because the insert is embedded into the eyeball, the muscles controlling eye movement can remain in tact. In addition to solving the problem of increased fluid pressure, these inserts allow astronauts to see new layers of information, widening the visible spectrum. Examples could include the ability to see heat signatures, and a visible detection of areas with high radiation. These abilities will help astronauts adapt to their new environments faster than evolution would.
The limb dismemberment machine severs the arms and legs from the body close to the shoulders and hips respectively. Surgical snake arms sever the circumference of the skin, which is then pulled back to expose more bone. A diamond cutting wire removes the bone and dismembers the limb from the body. A titanium stump is osseointegrated into the remaining humerus bone connected to the body. The extra skin is pulled over the stump and fused closed.
Creating the ideal body for space is the only way humans will prosper in new environments. Evolution moves far too slowly for the rate in which we are expanding our reaches. With Human Factors I aim to show that it is possible for astronauts to be more comfortable and adaptable in their missions.