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Mcgill J Med. 2011 Jun;13(2):76.

Human space exploration the next fifty years.

Abstract

Preparation for the fiftieth anniversary of human spaceflight in the spring of 2011 provides the space faring nations with an opportunity to reflect on past achievements as well as consider the next fifty years of human spaceflight. The International Space Station is a unique platform for long duration life science research that will play a critical role in preparing for future human space exploration beyond low earth orbit. Some feel the future path back to the Moon and on to Mars may be delayed with the current commitment of the United States to support the development of human-rated commercial spacecraft. Others see this as a unique opportunity to leverage the capability of the private sector in expanding access to space exploration. This article provides an overview of the past achievements in human spaceflight and discusses future missions over the next fifty years and the role space medicine will play in extending the time-distance constant of human space exploration.

KEYWORDS:

Human spaceflight; career astronauts; commercial spaceflight; space medicine; spaceflight participants

PMID:
22363199
PMCID:
PMC3277416

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