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Space travel is no form of progress if all we get is shrimp eyes

PUBLISHED: 02:00 27 March 2012

The longer you stay in space, the shorter your eyeballs get.

The longer you stay in space, the shorter your eyeballs get.

Frankly, I'm still smarting over all those lies we were told at primary school about how we'd all be living on the moon in the year 2000 and flitting about in hover cars.

It’s 2012 and I still don’t have a personal robot, a rocket jet-pack or a holiday let on Mars and this is despite the fact that MY UNCLE WORKS AT NASA.

You normal Earthlings, who don’t have an Uncle that works at Nasa, must surely be even further back in the queue for disintegration guns, hover-boards or holographic communication screens.

I have a Space Shuttle cloth patch to sew on my coat and some photographs of Mars thanks to my lofty Nasa con-nections, so it stands to reason that teleportation booths are created, I’ll be the first to get one for Christmas.

The space age started in earnest in 1957 when Sputnik was launched into orbit yet there are still no floating cities, robot housemaids or zero-gravity boots.

In fact, there’s a double whammy to contend with: not only were my teachers big fat liars but if their predictions had been correct and we actually were all living on the moon, we’d be big and fat, too. Oh, and bald. With de-formed eyes.

Dr Lewis Dartnell, from the University College London, has burst the space bubble, meaning that only the termi-nally masochistic would consider signing up to a long period away from earth.

“With very little effort required to move around in microgravity, future spacemen and women are likely to become pretty chubby. Also with no need for hair to insulate the head or eyelashes to flick dust from their eyes, future humans may become totally hairless,” he said.

It’s one big step for mankind that I’m not sure many astronauts would be willing – or able – to take, once they’d halved in size. And it gets worse.

Recent brain scan research on Nasa astronauts who have returned to Earth after more than a month in space have revealed eye deformities caused, scientists believe, by “intercranial hypertension”.

The longer you stay in space, the shorter your eyeballs get. Spend a year in space and you come back with eyes like full stops in the smallest font imaginable.

Jetting off into the stratosphere is pretty sexy: returning as a hairless, rotund dwarf with shrimp eyes is slightly less so, even if you do have a few moon rocks in your pocket and an absolutely enormous helmet.

If we had all decamped to the moon, Gillette and Immac would have gone into administration overnight and the human race would be slowly dying because no one would be able to summon up the enthusiasm to go on the (gravitational) pull.

And it gets worse. If our future truly does lie in the skies, we’re not only going to be shaven dwarves who break a hip if we brush up against a curtain thanks to our muscle and bone wastage, we’re also going to have huge, swollen heads.

Dr Dartnell added: “Without gravity, fluid would float up to pool in the skull, which would cause the head to look permanently swollen and out of proportion.”

Bloody marvellous. Anything else? Will we grow horns? Or tentacles? Or start farting sulphuric smoke? If this is progress, I’ll have no part of it, please.

Not until you can go away, have a little think and invent a space which makes us come home thinner, better-looking and richer, please.

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