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What happens to the human body after more than a year in space?

The record-breaking 371 days spent in space by astronaut Frank Rubio may have changed his muscles, brain, and even the microbes in his intestines


Nasa astronaut Frank Rubio said goodbye to his 371-day home, a cluster of modules and solar panels the size of an American football pitch, with a few handshakes, a quick photo opportunity and a wave. The longest single spaceflight by an American to date comes to a conclusion. His exit from the International Space Station (ISS) and return to Earth. After the spaceship he and his crewmates were supposed to go home. In developed a coolant leak in March, their duration in orbit was prolonged. Breaking the previous US record of 355 continuous days. Rubio completed 5,963 orbits around the Earth. Covering a distance of 157.4 million miles (253.3 million kilometres), during the extra months spent in space.

Rubio was hauled off the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft with a wide grin on his face as it safely returned to Earth. In a cloud of dust near the town of Zhezkazgan in the Kazakhstan Steppe. His body must have suffered from spending so much time in the low gravity of the ISS since the recovery teams had to hoist him out of the capsule.

Effect Bones and Muscles

Without gravity’s continual pull on our limbs, muscle and bone mass rapidly starts to deteriorate in space. The muscles that support our posture, such as those in our back, neck, calves, and quads. All are most negatively impacted since they don’t have to work as hard in microgravity and start to atrophy. Muscle mass can decrease by up to 20% after just two weeks and by 30% after lengthier missions of three to six months.

However, a recent study showed that even an exercise programme was insufficient to stop the loss of muscle mass and function. It suggested conducting experiments to see if heavier loads for resistance. Workouts and high-intensity interval training could help prevent this muscle loss.

Weight Loss

Maintaining a healthy weight is difficult when in orbit. Despite the fact that weight isn’t much of an issue because anything that isn’t fastened down can float around the ISS habitat freely, including people. Although NASA makes an effort to provide its astronauts with a variety of healthy foods. Most notably a few salad leaves grown aboard the space station, it can nevertheless have an impact on an astronaut’s physique. Scott Kelly, A NASA astronaut who spent 340 days aboard the International Space Station. While his twin brother remained on Earth and participated in the largest study on the effects of long-term spaceflight, lost 7% of his body mass while in orbit.

His Eyesight

In our bodies, gravity helps push the blood below as the heart pumps the blood back up. However, in space, this mechanism is disrupted (although the body does adjust to some extent). And blood might pool in the head more than usual. Oedema can result from some of this fluid collecting around the optic nerve and at the back of the eye. This may result in structural changes to the eye as well as changes in vision. Such as a loss of sharpness. Even after just two weeks in space, these alterations can begin to happen. But the risk increases with time. After astronauts land on Earth, some of the eyesight changes go away in approximately a year, while others may be permanent.



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