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Space… the Final Frontier - August 4, 2017

Space capsule mock-up for NASA, under construction in Kipp, Kansas. (Photo Courtesy of Douglas Welding and Machine Company)

Q: A Kansas company is building a test space capsule for NASA. Researchers at Kansas State University will use it to study the health effects of astronauts who will one day travel to Mars. What? Exactly. What’s the name of the Kansas company in Saline County building this mock-up space capsule for NASA?  


 
A: Douglas Welding and Machine Company (in Kipp, Kansas)  
 
Leeroy Douglas is the owner of the Douglas Welding and Machine Company in the unincorporated town of Kipp, in Saline County. He and his crew are building a test space capsule, of mock-up, for NASA. This multi-purpose crew vehicle will be used by researchers at Kansas State University to study the health and physical fitness requirements necessary for astronauts to travel to Mars. 
 
Dr. Carl Ade, assistant professor of exercise physiology in K-State’s Department of Kinesiology, says they’ll likely take the space capsule to nearby Tuttle Creek Lake for testing in the water. One goal is to find out just how physically fit astronauts will have to be in order to open the space capsule’s hatch, deploy a life raft and climb onboard after having spent long periods of time in space (maybe one to two years!), which weakens the human body. It may all sound like science fiction, but Leeroy Douglas says his company is proud to play a small part in helping K-State and NASA eventually send astronauts to Mars and beyond.
 
Check out this related story from KAKE News in Wichita.
 
Here's some more research from K-State scientists who are helping NASA uncover the mysteries of the universe.

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