Monday, 12 February 2018
Dr Rallia Velliou: Humans in space  – the trip to Mars
It’s nearly 50 years since humans ventured beyond Earth orbit, when the Apollo 10 mission took three men around the Moon in December 1968. At that time, it was considered likely that we would be on Mars by the end of the 20th century, but as we know, humans haven’t left Earth orbit since then. However, long-distance space missions are again being considered, and may take place within the next couple of decades, or even possibly sooner. As well as the technical considerations of providing transport and life support, there are also the challenges of the effects of long duration spaceflight in microgravity. This is where space technology meets the life sciences.
 Dr Rallia Velliou of University College, London, has been working with NASA investigating how microgravity affects the cardiovascular system. Spaceflight accelerates the ageing process, and Rallia has been using data gathered from astronauts aboard the International Space Station to discover how the walls of our arteries change in microgravity. As well as making it possible to visit Mars in a mission which would inevitably last much longer than a year, such work could well help many of us who remain on Earth. At our February meeting, Rallia will be explaining the work being done at the UCL Cardiovascular Unit on the challenges of long-distance spaceflight. The meeting is on Monday 12 February at Christ Church, Redford Way, Uxbridge, starting at 8 pm.
Future meeting dates


12 March Prof. Alex Boksenberg – What did dark matter ever do for us?

9 April Prof Paul Murdin –   Universe: Exploring the Astronomical World


List of previous meetings