Astronauts Have A Serious Bone Problem, And For The Space Missions Of The Future That’s Bad
This is not good news either for them or for future space missions to Mars.
The problem with living for a long time in weightlessness is that the body is as if it freezes, as if you remain in bed for a very long time. But without realizing it. Previous research has shown that astronauts lose between 1 and 2 percent of their bone density for each month they spend in space, as the lack of weight relieves pressure on their legs when it comes to standing and walking. The problem is that recovery times are also very slow and after some time on Earth the risk of osteoporosis remains.
“The more time you spend in space, the more bones you lose” said Steven Boyd of the Canadian University of Calgary and director of the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health.
“Will it continue to get worse over time or not? We don’t know. It is possible that it will reach a steady state after a while, or it is possible that it will continue to lose bone. But I cannot imagine it wearing out until there is nothing left“.
Guillemette Gauquelin-Koch, head of medical research at the French space agency CNES, said the weightlessness experienced in space is “the most drastic physical inactivity there is”.“It won’t be easy for the crew to set foot on Martian soil when they arrive, it’s very disabling”.