• Question: what happens when you stay in space to long?

    Asked by 566nch35 to Simon, Julia, Delma, Andrew, Alex on 14 Dec 2015. This question was also asked by victoria & jake.
    • Photo: Alexander Finch

      Alexander Finch answered on 14 Dec 2015:

      I think the others are better experts in this area than I, but as far as I understand it, there are two main effects!
      – Your bones become brittle
      – Your muscles become weaker

      Both of these is because the body doesn’t have to work against gravity while they are up there. Astronauts do lots of exercise to stop this happening, but even so it’s not good.

      In other ways though, I think astronauts are pretty OK in space! At the moment there are two astronauts who are living up there for a year to see what happens to them. In addition, there are studies being done in spacecraft simulators and here in Antarctica looking at the mental health of people who are stuck inside for months on end!!

    • Photo: Delma Childers

      Delma Childers answered on 14 Dec 2015:

      Alex nailed two of the big problems for the human body in space! Two more are that you grow taller (no gravity so your spine, which is normally curved, expands a bit) and your face gets puffier while your legs get skinny (this is also because gravity helps keep fluid nicely distributed throughout the body). Sounds like fun! 😉