Space: In the Bag

When a long distance space traveler of the future returns to the gravity of earth, will his heart still be up to the job of pumping blood through his body? After weeks, months or years in the resistanceless atmosphere of space, might it be out of training? To head off such a deconditioning, Lockheed Aircraft Corp.—under contract to the Air Force —last week announced development of the inelegantly titled Lower Body Negative Pressure device.

The LBNP looks like an oil drum and can be fastened tightly at the waist. Made of rubberized, aluminum-lined canvas, it creates an airtight bag for...

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