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Your Body Won’t Be The Same By The Time You Get To Mars – Here Is How It Could Be Affected

If you plan to add visiting Mars to your bucket list, then watch your back as you might have to face a bundle of health risks there. In order to address these issues, a team of space medicine experts from the Australian National University (ANU) devised a mathematical model that highlights the important aspects of astronauts’ health conditions on Mars. It should be noted that NASA and China have plans to send their trained astronauts to Mars in the near future, and for this purpose, they are trying to manage all the risks possible for their safe stay on Mars.

It is no secret how hard conditions could be for astronauts on Mars in the form of food, water, and waste management. Not only this, microgravity is a major cause of concern because it would then pose risks to their health, which include eyesight problems, issues with the cardiopulmonary system, bone density loss, etc. All these problems are subjected to their prolonged stay on Mars in the frame of microgravity. You might also be familiar with the situations when astronauts return to Earth from space, they immediately become faint or require a wheelchair to transport them to the nearby facility. All this is due to the deteriorating effects of space gravity which their bodies experience and take some time to adjust to after returning to Earth’s gravitational system.

The mathematical model of this research is based on the machine learning algorithm which analyses the behavioral pattern of data gathered from the previous ISS and Apollo missions so that they can cater to the risks of staying on Mars.  However, the research paper has been published in the journal Nature. As per Dr. Lex van Loon, who is a Research Fellow from the ANU College of Health and Medicine (CHM), “We know it takes about six to seven months to travel to Mars and this could cause the structure of your blood vessels or the strength of your heart to change due to the weightlessness experienced as a result of zero gravity space travel.”

He further stated, “With the rise of commercial space flight agencies like Space X and Blue Origin, there’s more room for rich but not necessarily healthy people to go into space, so we want to use mathematical models to predict whether someone is fit to fly to Mars.” Co-author Dr. Emma Tucker, who is also an astrophysicist and emergency medicine registrar, said, “When you’re on Earth, gravity is pulling fluid to the bottom half of our body, which is why some people find their legs begin to swell up toward the end of the day. But when you go into space that gravitational pull disappears, which means the fluid shifts to the top half of your body and that triggers a response that fools the body into thinking there’s too much fluid.”

Hence, Van Loon stated, “If an astronaut faints when they first step out of the spacecraft or if there’s a medical emergency, they’ll be nobody on Mars to help them. This is why we must be absolutely certain the astronaut is fit to fly and can adapt to Mars’ gravitational field. They must be able to operate effectively and efficiently with minimal support during those crucial first few minutes. “

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