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June 15, 1957

ROCKETING RISE OF SPACE MEDICINE

JAMA. 1957;164(7):771. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980070053014

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Abstract

Time no longer merely flies: it is rocketing faster than the twirling globe itself. The International Geophysical Year begins July 1, and a few months later a basketball-sized "little moon" will be flung out into virtual nothingness—an earth-girdling scout for scientific fruitfulness. Already a pilot has gone 24 miles up— virtual outer space where there is a scant one-third of one per cent of sea level air. And by about 1965, according to a foremost authority in space medicine, airline passengers will whiz 100 miles skyward in a 25-minute flight from New York to San Francisco, seeing the sun set in the east en route.

If anyone thinks that all this supersonic speed on high is leaving medicine agape at the local bus stop, he need only watch the work of Air Force doctors in Texas, Navy physicians in Florida, and medical researchers in California aircraft plants. They are not

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