What kind of effect does weightlessness have on human health?
I'm trying to find out if long term weightlessness has been show to be beneficial or negative for the human body. Anyone know?
- Gary BLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
It causes severe muscle loss. thus, astronauts are very much weaker when returning to earth. the early astronauts (like Apollo) had to be taken off on stretchers because they couldn't walk.
BUT -- this is easily fixed by a series of exercises and a STRICT timing of daily exercise. Most Space Station astronauts are required to exercise about two hours (I think) A DAY.
The exercise equipment (like tread mills) also contain special features -- bungee cords -- to pull the astronaut down to the machine, thus simulating gravity during the exercise.
of course, the low-gravity environment also make the heart work less and thus lowers blood pressure. But that means that the heart is weaker when returning to earth, too. i assume that this is countered by the high level of physical exercise elsewhere.
- StupidogLv 51 decade ago
The most significant adverse effects of long-term weightlessness are muscle atrophy and deterioration of the skeleton, or spaceflight osteopenia.