'Homo Spatius' (PBS)
(DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: Can Homo sapiens evolve into Homo spatius? For over 50 years now, we have been testing our human nature in our effort to conquer outer space.
Combining human adventure and the exploration of the human body, 'Homo Spatius' offers unique insights into the physical and psychological effects of space travel on the Astronauts and measures the impact on medical sciences.
DVD Verdict: Accelerated aging, muscular atrophy, slowed-down brain functions, euphoric hallucinatory spells - as soon as we leave our usual environment towards extra-terrestrial horizons, we face conditions which our bodies are unfit for.
However, the pull of exploration is stronger and space medicine is at work to prepare astronauts for travelling to new worlds - in a near or more distant future.
Which makes this truly fascinating, and wonderfully thought provoking new documentary from PBS (who else?) 'Home Spatius' as riveting a watch as quite anything I've had the pleasure to sit down and behold for a few years now (and trust me, PBS brings out wondrous documentaries one after the other!).
Directed by Jean-Christophe Ribot and Narrated by James O'Hagan, over an hour 'Homo Spatius' lays bare the facts known vs. the facts unknown. The biggest, of course, being: What happens to your body in space?
Well, NASA’s Human Research Program has been unfolding answers for over a decade now with that regard, we learn (I would have thought longer, but what do I know!).
Space is a dangerous, unfriendly place. Isolated from family and friends, exposed to radiation that could increase your lifetime risk for cancer, a diet high in freeze-dried food, required daily exercise to keep your muscles and bones from deteriorating, a carefully scripted high-tempo work schedule, and confinement with three co-workers picked to travel with you by your boss.
OK, sure, that's a specutalive run of thought there, but come on now, what exactly happens to your body in space, and what are the risks? Are risks the same for six months on the space station versus three years on a Mars mission?
No. There are several risks NASA is researching for a Mars mission. The risks are grouped into five categories related to the stresses they place on the space traveler: Gravity fields, isolation/confinement, hostile/closed environments, space radiation, and distance from Earth.
So, that's the discussion held throughout this interesting water cooler documentary from PBS and, once watched, one that will have you looking up as you walk outside now much more than you ever used to, believe me! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.