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Science: what happens to your body in space?

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Science: what happens to your body in space?

It’s been 57 years since the first person went up there – you should know by now.

Every child has dreamt of being an astronaut, strapping on the goldfish bowl helmet and white suit, climbing into a rocket ship and waving to that cute girl/guy before blasting off into space for adventures. But those children may not know that all this stuff happens to your body up there…

You get motion sick

Normally your inner ear tells you where you are and which way up you are – but in space it shrugs, and people tend to feel sick for a couple of days. Funnily enough, the same thing happens when they get back to Earth. You can’t win, eh?

You become a weakling

When you lie around all day, not moving, your muscles atrophy – which means they lose mass and get weaker. The same thing happens in space, because there’s less gravity. So the longer you’re away from our planet, the weaker you get. This happens even if you exercise, which spells trouble for people travelling to Mars.

Your immune system gets worse

There are a bunch of reasons why astronauts become less able to fight off disease – radiation, isolation, stress and losing the daily cycle of sleep set by the sun. They’re also in a confined space with their comrades, which means there’s more chance of getting germs from someone else. Eww.

Fluid rushes to your head

There’s plenty of liquid in our bodies, and down here gravity makes sure that liquid tends to go down towards our legs more often. Take that gravity away, and astronauts find more of that fluid in their bloated melons. Not only do they look more like squirrels with nut-stuffed cheeks, astronauts are more likely to suffer from vision issues as the fluid puts pressure on their optic nerve.

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