Gazing at the stars, we all ask ourselves, "What would happen if I went into space?" The only people who can give us answers are the astronauts that have traveled there and back. We at WeGoRo researched the curious things that happen to a human in space. There is also a thought-provoking theory about black holes and falling into them.
Visual impairment intracranial pressure syndrome (VIIP) is a visual impairment that most astronauts report after staying in space for an extended period of time. NASA has conducted research on the topic, but thus far no particular cause has been established. The space mission to Mars may be under question until scientists figure out how to help the astronauts with this syndrome.
If you thought of growing just a few inches taller, then going to space may help you temporarily. The absence of gravitational forces makes the human spine stretch. A series of ultrasound tests confirmed why astronauts come back a bit taller.
In preparation for the mission to Mars, NASA’s scientists have been studying the prolonged effects of radiation on the human body. The atmosphere on Mars is much weaker than that of Earth, so it does not completely shield the planet from space radiation. Thus, the more we know about how to prevent exposure to such amounts of radiation, the easier it will be for the people who will go to Mars.
22 astronauts reported losing their fingernails after trips to the International Space Station. A study said that a peculiar design of their gloves put pressure on the nails, causing them to fall off. This problem will likely be solved by a new design of gloves for spacewalks.
The human inner ear works as an accelerometer: when we experience a change in motion, it helps us not to get sick. The story is different when a human is in space. This little "device" breaks, and astronauts report experiencing motion sickness for a day or 2 after they arrive at the space station. Let’s hope this will be solved with the invention of artificial gravity.
The lack of gravity also causes a peculiar change in the way the fluids inside the human body flow. Instead of going back to the lower limbs as on Earth, the blood, for instance, travels all the way to the head. That is why some astronauts look more "round" when they are back.
The heart also experiences a lot of changes in space. For example, it pumps less blood and changes its shape to be more spherical. Studies on astronauts may help not only to avoid such cardio problems in the future in space but also for people on Earth.
Astronauts must train at all times while in space. A condition called atrophy may weaken the muscles and bones after a long trip to space. Therefore, all people who travel in space are encouraged to exercise daily.
Remember watching all those sci-fi movies about people going crazy onboard spaceships? Well, it might become a reality with a mission to Mars. To avoid such a situation, NASA and Russia’s Space Agency "Roscosmos" have conducted many studies and will continue to do so to see what happens to people in close confinement.
If you wonder whether it is possible to survive in open space if something goes awry with your spacesuit, here is what we know so far:
To sum up, you would be dead in less than a minute.
Gravity, or a lack of it, has profound effects on a human body in space. That is why the more the scientists study how to recreate it for astronauts, the better the performance of the latter will be. Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist, experienced it in 2007. "Space, here I come," he said after his zero-gravity flight.
Identical twins Scott and Mark Kelly became the subjects of a study about "the safety and performance of individual astronauts." While Scott went to space, Mark stayed on Earth. They both performed identical medical tests. The scientists then compared the data, and the results are fascinating. For example, C reactive protein levels, a marker for inflammation, were high for Scott due to the stress he experienced during landing. The research is still ongoing, and it will likely help us to understand the changes a human body experiences in space on a genetical level.
Hypothetically, if a human fell into a black hole, he or she would experience extreme "stretching." Their sense of time would also change. A person would be able to see both the future and the past at the same time. However, it is most likely that instant death would occur as their body and brain would dissolve into ions.
An astronaut’s job is considered one of the most dangerous and difficult in the world. Thus, having a sense of humor is always helpful to survive both physical and emotional stress.
In this photo, an astronaut holds up a “For Sale” sign for two satellites not functioning properly.
It may be the most fascinating experience for astronauts to be in space, but they all long for home.
Having a little bit of luck has not harmed anyone, especially when dealing with space and changes your body goes through there. This Apollo Mission 10 photo is a proof of that.
If an astronaut floats away from the station in case of the malfunctioning of his spacesuit, or any other disastrous event, things would get very gloomy fast — if not rescued by the crew on the station, he or she would face a fate of floating in open space for up 6 hours until the oxygen runs out. This is a horrifying death scenario for any of the astronauts. However, NASA and other space agencies around the world make sure that an astronaut has an opportunity to get back to the station safely — by using Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue.
Now that you know what happens to astronauts, share with us whether you’d want to sign up for a Mars mission that might take off in the next 20 years.
Preview photo credit NASA