December 2, 2023

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The study of astronauts reveals the effects of space travel on the human body |  health

The study of astronauts reveals the effects of space travel on the human body | health

A study of bone loss in 17 astronauts who flew on the ship International Space Station Understanding of the effects of space travel on the human body and the measures that can mitigate it is growing.

The research collected new data on astronauts’ bone loss due to microgravity conditions in space and the degree of bone mineral density recovery in space. a land.

The study involved 14 astronauts and three females, with an average age of 47, whose missions ranged from four to seven months in space, averaging about 5 and a half months.

One year after returning to a landThe astronauts showed, on average, a 2.1% decrease in bone mineral density in the tibia — one of the bones in the leg — and a 1.3% decrease in bone strength. Nine did not regain bone mineral density after spaceflight, which showed a permanent loss.

“We know that astronauts suffer from bone loss in long-duration spaceflight. What’s new about this study is that we followed astronauts for a year after their spaceflights to understand whether and how the bones healed,” said Lee Gabel, a professor at the University of Calgary. , lead author of the research, who was published This week in Scientific Reports.

The astronauts suffered a significant bone loss during their six-month spaceflights – a loss we would expect to see in older adults over their two decades in space. a landAnd they only made up for half of that loss a year after they returned to it a landGabel said.

“During spaceflights, skeletons weaken… once the astronaut returns a landThe remaining skeletal bonds can thicken and strengthen, Gable said, but the bonds that have broken off in space cannot be reconstructed, so the overall skeleton of the astronaut is permanently changed.”

The astronauts studied have flown on the space station for the past seven years. The study did not reveal their nationalities, but they were from the US Space Agency NASAFrom the Canadian Space Agency European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.