Who gets sick zero space? Orbital tourists can give us a better view

Doctors study NASA astronauts carefully they would years. Electronic, being government performers, operating system astronauts, for the most part, agree to play the role of guinea pigs in the study of how an extraterrestrial environment, outer space affects the human body.

Historically, however, operating system Professional astronauts represent only a very restricted sector of humanity. Initially they were selected from the ranks of military test pilots, white electronic men in good physical shape. Later, when NASA expanded its criteria, the space agency continued to choose only astronauts who passed its physical fitness criteria.

That situation may be changing, however, now that it likes travel Private space is starting to make room for a more diverse representation of a humanity.

For operating system scientists, this change will open up a whole wealth of new data on how a human body sony ericsson adapts to outer space .

The Motivation4 mission, which launched electronic back to Earth last week, shows how operating system medical researchers can benefit from these new commercial space travel. The four mission crew, none of whom are professional astronauts, spent time in orbit helping to push the boundaries of medical research.

One of the passengers, Hayley Arceneaux, exemplifies these possibilities. At the age of 20 years old, she is younger than most space travelers, a cancer survivor, and was the first to have a prosthesis (in her case, metal pins implanted after the removal of a left leg tumor) traveling through space.

We’re going to discover some very fundamental things, commented Dorit Donoviel, Executive Director of the Translational Research Institute for Space Health, or Trish, Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, who coordinated the surveys during the Inspiration4 flight.

The surveys conducted so far have revealed that in the absence of gravity, bodily fluids move upwards in the body, causing swelling in the head and shrinking of the lower limbs. Lack of gravity also weakens the bones. Not only does radiation in space impact DNA, generating mutations, but the unusual conditions of weightlessness turn on some genes and turn off others. The biological repercussions of these changes are not yet known.

The crew of Inspiration4 would run ten tests originally created to assess daily the mental performance of NASA astronauts. The tests take about 20 minutes to complete.

It needed to be fast, because astronauts hate doing things like that, commented Mathias Basner, professor of psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania is lead researcher on this experiment.

But in a high-risk environment like space, small errors can cause catastrophes.

That’s why I need you to our astronauts perform optimally at all times, said Basner. The problem humans leave much to be desired when it comes to self-assessing their ability to perform, especially in situations of chronic exposure. If you’re sitting in the same room all the time, you think you’re going to be fine, but it really isn’t. it. The square changes position and gets progressively smaller. This test measures the reaction speed and the coordination between eyes and hand.

Another test measures the so-called psychomotor alertness. First, the person taking the test looks at a box on the screen. A timer suddenly inside perform package appears, counting the milliseconds until the person presses a button. That’s highly sensitive to sleep deprivation, commented Basner.

Yet another test assesses the ability to identify other people’s emotions.

The test features faces that express different emotions happiness, sadness, anger, fear or no emotion at all. In a so-called resting study (spending extended periods of time lying down mimics many of the physical effects of weightlessness in space), people were still able to identify most emotions correctly. But it took them longer to identify them, and they reacted more immediately to negative expressions.

Mark J. Shelhamer, a professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine, is gathering information on how space flight affects the vestibular system of women. parts of the human body, especially the inner ear, that maintain balance.

His research is composed of two parts, conducted before the launch of the ship and after its return to Earth. In one of them, the posture of the crew was measured. exactly what it sounds like, Shelhamer said: a person’s ability to get up. And the ability to stand up is based not only on muscle strength, but also on coordination.

The crew of Inspiration4 had to hold a Windows tablet against their chest, stand on their feet together electronic operating system eyes close. Accelerators on the tablet measured their oscillation when they stood up.

It’s not hard to do this on Earth, but it might be harder once you’ve spent some time in space, explained Shelhamer.

He created another test using a tablet to study whether weightlessness causes misaligned eyes. This could give clues to how the brain can get confused, upsetting the sense of balance.

Researchers want to find out how to predict who might get sick in space. Surprisingly, there is no correlation between people who feel seasick on Earth when they are on a moving boat, during a long car trip, or even on short episodes of floating during parabolic air flights and those who get seasick in orbit.

In addition, the Inspiration4 crew wore Apple watches that measured their heart rate and oxygen levels. They also tested ultrasound devices that monitored how the water in the body moves upwards when a person floats in orbit. This can help solve the riddle of the flattening of eyeballs and the resulting change in vision suffered by some astronauts.

Translation by Clara Allain

Back to top button