Bones are vital for everyday functioning, and bone damage can lead to a decrease in quality of one’s life. Even more concerning, those in outer space can be exposed to even greater risks of bone damage, due to the lack of gravity and the amount of radiation. Because of these risks, studying bone damage in space has become increasingly important.
Something happens to the human body when we go out into space. What happens when we leave the Earth’s atmosphere? Astronauts’ bodies are confronted with cosmic radiation. Their bones, vital organs and internal structures are fully exposed to this impact. There is no natural protection from our magnetic field. And that generates the damage to bones in space.
For every month spent in outer space astronauts lose 1 to 2 % of bone density. Bones deteriorate rapidly in outer space. Says Science Alert. The lack of gravity takes pressure off them when they walk, which weakens their entire skeleton.
It’s damage on par with what an average human would take decades. Steven Boyd, director of the institute, says this is a major concern for Mars missions, which take years to complete:
“The more time you spend in space, the more bone you lose,” explains the scientist. “Maybe a steady state will be reached after a while, or it’s possible that we’ll continue to lose bone.”
Something adds to the cosmic radiation and lack of gravity. Traveling into space is up against the force required for rocket takeoffs. A study by Scientific Reports says that the bone structure of these people is altered.
There are specific therapies for astronauts to recover the density and functionality of their bones. But they rarely recover their motor capacity to 100 %.
Also the aerobic condition of the body is severely affected by long missions into space. There is less blood and fewer muscles to work with. So returning to Earth presents a challenge for astronauts. They must reintegrate to life on the surface once again.”
Still, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and other billionaires are pushing space tourism. There is currently a euphoria about cosmic travel. But there is no medical insurance to cover organic damage for ordinary people. Plans for tourism to Mars, however, continue. But bone damage in space should already be part of the equation.