If, imagining the future of human civilization, you come to mind the conquest of space, colonies on other planets and regular space flights, you may have watched too many science fiction films. The reality is that space is not the most favorable environment for Homo Sapiens. Recently, scientists have found another confirmation of this - according to the results of a new study, a long stay in space poses a serious health risk and can endanger the lives of astronauts.
Despite the loud statements of the heads of private and state companies about plans for the colonization of Mars and regular space flights from one planet to another, the reality paints a completely different picture. Space is a very unfriendly environment for representatives of our species. Even a long stay in orbit of the Earth has a serious impact on health. So, the twin brothers the astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly became widely known. They took part in an important experiment, during which Scott went to the ISS for a year, and his brother remained on Earth. When Scott returned home, even the bacteria in his gut became different, not to mention the series of changes that occurred in the astronaut's body.
Very unfriendly environment
Cosmic radiation also poses a serious threat to health. So, the results of a previous study published in the journal eNeuro showed that prolonged exposure to space negatively affects the functioning of the brain. But that is not all. While studying the potential effects of spaceflight on health, researchers found that being in space could disrupt blood flow. The problem is the main blood vessel that runs down the neck from the brain - the jugular vein. Scientists monitored the health status of 11 astronauts who spent 50 days at the International Space Station (ISS). The study revealed that six of them had problems with blood flow in the jugular vein. Moreover, one of the crew members was found to have thrombosis or an obstruction of the internal jugular vein - a blood clot that interferes with normal circulation. Researchers note that this is the first case recorded as a result of space flight.
To date, the situation is such that the consequences of long space flights can end badly for astronauts - they risk not only impaired blood flow, but also brain damage due to cosmic radiation. Needless to say, a long stay in zero gravity also does not have a positive effect on the body. Exposure to a weightless environment during space flight leads to a chronic displacement of blood and tissue fluid towards the head compared to the vertical position on Earth. What consequences weightlessness will have on cerebral venous current is unknown. Moving fluid in the direction of the head during prolonged weightlessness also leads to facial swelling, a decrease in leg volume, and a decrease in plasma volume.
It turns out that time spent in space can reduce bone density, change the composition of intestinal bacteria, disrupt brain function and lead to jugular vein thrombosis. Despite the fact that the researchers are seriously concerned about the results and intend to continue to work, today the representatives of Homo Sapiens clearly do not get beyond the limits of the Earth's satellite. Perhaps we should continue to send robotic vehicles to plow the space and watch the universe from afar. Most likely we will never be able to leave our home planet, so space exploration can be provided to robots.