There are no major health risks during short space travel

Inspiration4 staff who participated in the 2021 study

Noos News

There are no major health risks associated with short space travel of a few days. This is the conclusion reached by a group of American researchers based on the first extensive research on the effects of space travel on the bodies of so-called space tourists.

These are people who, like astronauts, were not prepared through years of training and education to face weightlessness and exposure to cosmic radiation, among other things.

Research down to the cell level

For the research published in the famous scientific journal naturefour space tourists (two men and two women) were examined down to the cell level during a three-day space mission in 2021.

The data was compared with data from 64 astronauts who, among other things, spent a longer period of time on the International Space Station.

Researchers recorded changes in space tourists, including astronauts, in the brain, heart, muscles, kidneys, immune system and skin. But within a few months of returning, most people’s biometric values ​​returned to normal.

Only in the so-called mitochondria (the energy factories of cells) are abnormalities found. According to researchers, this is nothing to worry about.

The four members of the Inspiration4 mission who participated in the study

“Fortunately, we did not see anything alarming,” said Professor Chris Mason, one of the study leaders from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. “This is good news for other citizens who plan to live and work in space,” Mason told Reuters.

Space organizations like NASA have been conducting research for decades into the effects of space travel on the health of astronauts, who regularly spend months in space. However, there is little knowledge about the effects of space travel on the body of someone who is not fully prepared for it.

What the scientists also noticed in their study was that the bodies of the women who participated in the study returned to their “normal” state faster after their return to Earth compared to the bodies of the men.

Researcher Mason speculates that this may have something to do with the many effects pregnancy has on a woman’s body, which may make it better equipped to deal with such changes.

He stresses that more research is needed to draw firm conclusions about this matter, because the study concerns only four people.

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