SCIENCE

Large research reveals the negative effects of space travel on human health.

Understanding the impact of the harsh environment, we can make historic flights bringing along the desire to turn humanity into an “interplanetary” species.

Immense space extremely cold and harsh. Humans may have found a way to orbit, ascend to nearby celestial bodies and return safely, but we are still in the process of understanding the effects of space travel on human health, especially. especially on long journeys. This will be a very important study to ensure the safety of astronauts before we go to Mars.

Based on the famous NASA research on twins Mark and Scott Kelly, scientists have learned that staying in space will affect the blood on the brain, bacteria in the gut, astronauts will often Through swelling, blurred vision, their bones will become brittle and muscles will shrink over time. Studies in mice placed in a space similar to space travel show that the immune system of a vital form can age, and the mouse brain shows signs of damage.

In the largest study ever to produce up to 30 scientific papers, experts want to have the most complete answer about the effects of space travel on human health. The amount of data they have is the largest in history, including observations and analysis of space travel of flies, worms, mice and, obviously, the study subject is an astronaut.

Some of the results reaffirm what we already know, others bring new data, clarify past results or find ways to improve future studies.

“Although we have made a lot of great breakthroughs in understanding the health risks that space travel poses, we still need more research to make people safer in space exploration, That is the moon missions, Mars or go into the deep space. Deep space, roughly translated as “deep universe” is defined by the International Telecommunication Union ITU as a space spanning in all directions from a distance of 2 million km from the Earth’s surface.


The damaging factor to the health of space travel is the G force acting on the astronaut as soon as they take off. Once steady flight begins, space radiation and the microgravity environment continue to affect astronauts.

For example, during a journey to Mars, astronauts will fly away from the Earth’s protective magnetosphere and be directly affected by cosmic radiation. Although the distance moving to neighboring planets is smooth but far away, astronauts will face the harshest environment that humans have ever experienced in a very long time.

In the microgravity environment on the ISS station, the longest number of days an astronaut has ever lived is only 437. Apparently, more data is needed to know the health effects of space on the astronaut’s body. to live a long time in the universe. Many of the studies in the large number of newly published reports have re-analyzed or compiled data from past studies. This is one of the ways to improve research results, to optimize the data we get from expensive travel.

Another example: there was a study that analyzed flight data of nearly 60 astronauts and hundreds of samples taken from the GeneLab laboratory, with the aim of tracking changes in gne, cells, tissues, systems are in the body, organs and muscles who return after long journeys. They discovered many changes in mitochondria – the “energy factories” in cells that convert oxygen and nutrients into energy.

These changes could explain why the astronaut’s immune system and heart rate change during travel, the author concludes.

Another study done on astronauts before and during travel found that the lengths of the telomeres – the end of the chromosomes – differ from one astronaut’s site; there are cases where telomeres are longer, others carry shorter telomeres than before.

Because the number of astronauts as well as animals that can travel to space is still limited, we don’t have too much data to conduct a thorough analysis. That’s why we bring both worms and flies into space: with tiny organisms, we can scale up the implementation of experiments involving space travel. These animals have also appeared several times in the recently published scientific papers.

Research done on nematodes located at the ISS station showed small changes in the nearly 1,000 genes of the worm. Another study in flies showed that the animals’ heart beat decreased inversely with the time the flies were in space.

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