Your Trip To Mars May Not Be Possible Due To Potential Health Risks

Posted: Nov 12 2015, 5:08am CST | by , Updated: Nov 12 2015, 11:18pm CST, in News | Latest Science News


Your Trip to Mars May be Halted by the Details of Health Risks
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Longer spaceflights may have negative effects on your body and brain.

NASA has recently announced that it is hiring new astronauts for Mars and other missions in deep space. The news was exciting for all those who wanted to be an astronaut. But the National Space Agency has also revealed the potential harmful effects which may take place in your brain and body when a long time has spent in a tiny spacecraft.

NASA has launched an audit titled ‘NASA’s efforts to Manage Health and Human Performance Risks for Space Exploration’ in which they have identified health issues and risks associated with space travel.

Scientists have found that space travels can lead to significant changes in the brain, probably as it tries to adapt to the difficult micro gravity conditions. NASA used MRI to examine the brain of astronaut before heading to spaceflight and after returning to Earth. Astronauts were also asked to complete certain mental and physical tasks on board the ISS to determine any functional changes.

Scientists found that after spending six months on the International Space Station, an astronaut’s brain has taken a serious toll. Microgravity environment weakened their ability to think and they took more time in completing mental and physical tasks after staying in ISS.

This is not only research that the highlights the effects of long spaceflights. Another study which was supported by European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos suggest long spaceflights can damage cognitive abilities. 

"Factors that can have an impact consist of, but are not limited to, weightlessness, cosmic radiation, isolation, confinement and disturbed day-night rhythm," co-author Van Ombergen told The Huffington Post. "As one can imagine, all these factors can have an impact on the human brain, as they are new, challenging and stressful." 

After the space mission completed "we found less connectivity strength in several motor- and vestibular-related areas, which we know that they are responsible in movement and balance. This could explain why astronauts typically present with temporary movement problems (problems with walking, gait and posture) and vestibular/balance problems (dizziness, vertigo, nausea) when returning to Earth."

The initial findings of the study were published earlier this year and more data will be collected in the years to come.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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