Today, we talk about the effects of space travel on the body, and what happens to the human body in space. Have you ever wondered about the impact of spending time in space? Space travel and space tourism sounds fun, but do you know that spending time in space can affect you physically? How much time do astronauts spend in space? Being an astronaut is not an easy job. Most of them spend six months in a vacuum environment on the ISS, also known as the international space station. They hover approximately 250 miles far away above the earth.
NASA and the Russian federal space agency sent three astronauts on a space mission to spend a year on the ISS, which is a big step for our planet. Studying these astronauts will help us understand the impacts and consequences of spending a prolonged time in space. This study is important because it takes around six months each way to complete the journey towards Mars, and the research will help us determine what could happen if space tourism does become a reality. Scientists now have some explanations on how a six-month stay in space can affect the human body.
Experiencing the environment of space might be hazardous to the human body. Some of the effects of space travel on the body include muscle atrophy and skeletal degeneration, which are two serious side consequences of long-term weightlessness. Other severe effects include a slowing of cardiovascular system activities, a decrease in red blood cell production, balance issues, vision problems, and immune system alterations. Fluid redistribution, loss of body mass, nasal congestion, sleep disturbances, and excessive flatulence are some of the other symptoms. The acronym RIDGE is used by NASA to describe the varied consequences of spaceflight on the human body.
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Spaceflight has the potential to affect nearly every organ in the human body. Launching into space increases gravity forces, which may lead to a reduction in consciousness. When the body is exposed to the microgravity of outer space, the constant mechanical force put on it by Earth’s gravity is greatly reduced, resulting in bone deterioration. Calcium, a major component of bone, is expelled in large quantities, which can lead to calcium kidney stones. To counteract effects of space travel on the body such as bone loss, astronauts engage in weight-bearing activity, take osteoporosis medications, and calcium and vitamin D supplements. The lack of gravity has an effect on the vertebrae of the spine. The spine can stretch up to two inches in length.
Many of the environmental conditions encountered by humans during spaceflight are vastly different from those in which humans originated; yet, technology such as that provided by a spaceship or a spacesuit may protect individuals from the most extreme conditions. A life support system, a collection of equipment that allow humans to survive in space, meets the immediate needs for breathable air and drinking water. Air, water, and food are all provided by the life support system. It must also keep the body’s temperature and pressure within safe ranges, as well as deal with waste products. It is also vital to protect against dangerous external factors such as radiation and micrometeorites.
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