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In Situ production of medicines in space

In Situ production of medicines in space
« on: 23 August , 2019, 15:09:53 pm »
Hello everybody,

When going through the work guide, one of the topics which specially stood out from the rest in my view was dealing with medical emergencies far away from the medical personnel, for example, the treatment of infections or other pathologies, which are worsened by the weightlessness (lack of gravity), in a hostile environment as space is. Although in the short run, a partial solution to this problem would be the incorporation of a doctor with the necessary tools and medicines in the crew to treat astronauts in case they need it, this proposal would be rather unfeasible in more complex or longer missions.

This issue really means a barrier on nowadays´ tripulated missions; therefore, I decided to focus my project on meeting this challenge. Then, trying to find an alternative and more sustainable system to the current one I came up with the idea of producing medicines “in situ” in order to decrease the weight and space (consequently decreasing the power consumed by the spacecraft) of the medicines taken from the Earth - whose properties might be lost due to the space conditions - , issue which would be magnified in longer missions and/or with bigger crews and even more in space colonization.

Inspired by the current ISRU projects related to the obtention of water, oxigen or minerals, I found scarce information related to the medicines used in space and no other similar projects mixing the ideas of ISRU and space pharmacology. Have you thought of similar projects or found relevant information to these? What is your view on this idea?

All the best,

Ruth Mora

Re: In Situ production of medicines in space
« Reply #1 on: 10 September , 2019, 14:12:44 pm »
Hello Ruth,

I just read your post and let me say that it is utterly interesting. It makes us realize we can't take anything for granted in the topic of searching for extraterrestrial resources. Those astronauts will also have to live and survive, just as we do, and they will need the same resources and services as we need. Not only medicines, but also food and water, residence, a suitable temperature, and so on and so forth. These requirements need a large amount of resources, and people.

Having said this, I would like to ask a question: what other things do you think these astronauts will need?, and, if you should know, how could they be dealt with? I suggest you take a moment to think about this question and answer what you thought.

Keep it up, guys! :D