Are we our own aliens?
Interesting article today on my news feed. NASA has discovered, after much testing, that the brains of astronauts who spend long periods of time in space can increase in volume (white matter) including more cerebrospinal fluid. Also, that their eyesight can be affected due to swelling of the optic nerve and various other abnormalities. While living on Earth, gravity applies pressure to the body, ensuring that fluids in the body travel from the head to the foot, around and around. In space, there is no such construct, even on the space station. This has allowed physicians to study the long-term effects of no gravity.
And why don’t we have artificial gravity on the International Space Station (ISS)? Well, it’s about size. In order to have artificial gravity aboard a space faring vessel, one would have to have what is called centripetal force (from spinning) to create a pulling sensation moving the astronaut to the floor. Remember the jogging scene in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey? Well, that’s how it would have to work. The ‘walls’ would become the floor and the ‘floor’ would be the walls, or any inner wall of the ship because of the spin to create gravity.
Now, the ISS, the size of an average apartment, is not nearly big enough to accomplish this because the smaller a ship is, the faster it has to spin to get centripetal force. This would cause all sorts of disorientation and dizziness and complete craziness if the ship had windows. A ship to spin slowly enough to bear would have to be, at minimum the size of a football field. Probably larger. There is talk of making individual sized pods inside the craft that would spin to create gravity for health reasons but again, we are talking about dizziness and extreme nausea. The use of pressure on an astronaut’s lower body is also being considered.
Now, as a writer, I find this news to be especially fascinating. My imagination kicks into overdrive. For example, all extraterrestrial sightings in real life, and usually those in fiction, feature Greys who have extra-large heads, black slanted eyes, as well as elongated fingers and smallish legs. Doesn’t this sound like what I’ve just noted. Um hmm.
Well, suppose we are them and they are us.
There’s a wonderful show on Netflix, One Strange Rock, in which astronauts talk about being in space for prolonged periods. They talk about the pain and pleasure they experience when they get back on Earth. One of the astronauts, I can’t remember which, though probably Scott Kelly, talks about how once we leave earth, we become the aliens, forever changed. Scott and his identical twin brother Mark were forever differentiated physically by Scott’s year in space. Wow, great fodder for a science fiction writer such as myself. It encompasses all sorts of things, such as—well, what about time travel? Are the aliens talked about really us as space dwellers from the future? Or did a future, space living race seed the earth as many pundits swear.
I’m currently working on a sequel to The Liaison, a SF series that features Greys as well as Inter-Dimensional Beings (IDBs). I address this subject of who the IDBs are, actually us to the nth degree, so obviously I am fascinated by this topic. So, thanks for letting me share. Stay safe and well, all of you, as our planet is ravaged by another tiny alien.