What Happens to Your Body in Space? | God's World News
What Happens to Your Body in Space?
News Shorts
Posted: June 13, 2024
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    Space tourists Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arceneaux prepare for a launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 2021. (AP/John Raoux)
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    A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off with four private citizens in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 2021. (AP/John Raoux)
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What happens to a human body in space? Scientists have tried to answer that question for a long time. They saw what happens when an astronaut stays in space for a long period. But now there are new space travelers to test: space tourists.

Space tourists visit space for a short time—like taking a “space-cation.” Researchers studied a few of these amateurs. Their conclusion? In some ways, space travel affects their bodies the same as long-term astronauts.

Four tourists rocketed to space in 2021. (Read more about the trip in Space Fans Get Seats and Space Tourists Return.) They didn’t have years of training like astronauts do. In space, where there’s very low gravity, they felt weightless. How did their bodies adjust?

The four passengers on the SpaceX flight collected samples of their own blood, saliva, and skin. Researchers analyzed the samples. They found that the travelers’ cells changed. Age markers in their cells lengthened and then shortened again. Scientists have also seen that in long-term space visitors. Their immune systems were stressed. Their scores on cognitive (reasoning) tests got slightly lower.

“This is the first time we’ve had a cell-by-cell examination of a crew when they go to space,” says researcher Chris Mason.

Long-term space travelers can experience decreased blood pumping volume. That’s because the heart doesn’t have to work so hard without gravity. Over time, the heart can even shrink! Astronauts in space for a long time can lose callouses from their feet, since they float around for so long instead of walking. Radiation in space increases a person’s risk of cancer.

For the tourists, though, most body shifts disappeared in the months after they returned home. And the changes didn’t harm the travelers’ health.

The first tourist visit to the International Space Station happened in 2001. Since then, regular folks have gotten more and more chances to go to space. And by “regular folks,” we mean very, very rich folks. A ticket to space can cost tens of millions of dollars.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God. — Hebrews 11:3