Being in outer space might be amazing and a little bit exciting because not all people are given a chance to be outside of Earth, but being in space can be quite dangerous to the human body because space can be a hostile environment. A person in space is being exposed to too high radiation that could cause a high possibility of the person getting cancer. It is also required for you to eat freeze-dried foods, not really good for your health. Daily exercise is also a must to keep your bones and muscles strong to avoid them from deteriorating. You must also function by the given work-schedule, and you will be confined with three co-workers, which can be a little suffocating sometimes. When you go out in space, you can cause too many risks on your body. But what exactly are the risks to your body when you are in outer space?
CHANGES IN THE GRAVITY FIELD
Within six months of staying in the International Space Station, you are in the state of freefall, so technically, you would experience weightlessness. By the time you reach Mars, you can function while experiencing only one-third of the Earth’s gravity. You would feel lighter when you are on Mars, and by the time you come back to Earth, you will need to readjust your body to the changes in gravity. Readapting to one gravity might seem easy, but it is more challenging in reality. Since you have been to two different planets when different structure, atmosphere, gravity field, etc., by the time you go back to Earth, different aspects of your mind and body would be affected. Some of these are your spatial coordination, your head-eye and hand-eye movement and coordination, the way you balance yourself, and your ability to move from one place to another.
UNFRIENDLY AND CLOSED ENVIRONMENT
Since people in space are confined together, the microorganisms that live inside their bodies can be easily transferred to one another. Microbes that also live in your body can change characteristics when they are in space. Different hormones like stress hormones are high up, and your immune system starts to adjust. This may cause allergies and many other illnesses and diseases to your body.
Radiation is the most dangerous aspect when you travel to space, especially on Mars. The Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere are the things that protect us from extreme cosmic radiation, so when you travel to Mars, you will be exposed to 10 times more radiation than what you receive on Earth. Space radiation is the cause of sickness, tissue deterioration, and damage to the central nervous system. It could also cause a high possibility of the person getting cancer since he is exposed to too much radiation.
CONFINEMENT IN GROUPS
Being isolated with a group of people in a minimal area for an extended period can be a little suffocating. NASA discovered that this confinement might cause changes in the behavior and the people’s behavioral issues in outer space. Regardless of how challenging and how great they were trained, behavioral issues are sure to these people. That is the reason why expedition crews are trained well and are chosen wisely to make sure that there will be no problems when they work together for six months. Crews intended for the Mars mission experience more careful examination and utmost preparation since they will be out there in space isolated and traveling longer and farther than the others. Mood changes might occur, and interpersonal interaction may be affected. You would also most likely experience sleep deprivation because of the changes to your circadian rhythm. Due to isolation, depression is most likely to occur. Misunderstandings and miscommunication are inevitable, given that you are isolated from the same group of people for an extended time. Eating freeze-dried food almost every day can cause malnutrition, which may affect your physiological and cognitive capacity. The longer the isolation and confinement, the higher the chance of these people to develop behavioral issues, cognitive conditions, and psychiatric problems.
There are a lot of things that could happen to the body when you travel to outer space. This is why expedition crews are chosen carefully, and they undergo extensive training. Being an expedition crew is no joke. It requires great skill and discipline to be one. Crews might encounter many crises when traveling into space, but NASA has been doing their job in researching and solving these problems so that the next time we send people into space, they will be ready and come back healthy and well.