Elon Musk and many other famous people from the aerospace industry dream of sending people to Mars and other planets as quickly as possible. Only before that they need to develop reliable spacecraft and, most importantly, ensure the safety of the health of future colonizers. While aerospace companies are doing quite well with the development of space travel ships, things are not doing very well with creating comfortable conditions for people. The fact is that in the conditions of weightlessness, a lot of changes take place in the human body, such as rounding of the heart shape, which can significantly reduce a person’s life span. Recently, the results of a study that revealed the development of serious problems with the circulatory system in astronauts were published in the scientific journal JAMA Network Open.
We are talking about the formation in the circulatory system of astronauts of the so-called blood clots - blood clots that prevent it from flowing freely through the circulatory system. Moreover, they are formed inside the jugular veins, which are considered one of the most important for human life. The fact is that they are located in the neck of a person and play a large role in transporting blood from the head to the lower body. It is noteworthy that blood clots form in the internal jugular vein, which is the main vessel that carries blood from the cranial cavity.
What happens to man in space?
Blood clots were discovered in 6 of 11 astronauts who had previously spent time inside the International Space Station. Their personalities are carefully hidden, but it is known that blood clots formed in just 50 days at the station. Before returning to Earth, astronauts had to be treated with anticoagulants, which are drugs to reduce the activity of the blood coagulation system.
Scientists do not yet know exactly what the consequences of blood clots in the internal jugular vein may be. But there is nothing good in the blood retention inside the person’s head - if you tried to stand on your head, then after some time you probably began to feel bad. Being on Earth, we feel great thanks to gravity, which takes great care to ensure that blood from the head spreads throughout all the lower parts of the body. But in conditions without gravity, it is impossible to feel good, because blood is distributed unevenly throughout the body.
According to researchers, blood retention in the head can at least lead to swelling of the face or weakening of the arms and legs. A further study of this issue may well reveal that in such a state of the body a person can suddenly die. Thus, scientists urgently need to develop methods to prevent the formation of blood clots in the so-called jugular veins. Or, at a minimum, you need to find an effective cure for thrombosis.
Otherwise, space travel can be forgotten. After all, it will be a disaster if, on a flight to another planet inside a perfect spacecraft, the crew simply takes and dies. In the absence of a solution to this problem, humanity can only send robots into space.