TOP 10 human factors, making it impossible to study of deep space - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 January 2015 16:38

Since humanity is going in the relatively near future is still to start colonizing the Moon and other celestial bodies in our solar system, it is likely that you would like to learn about the risks and health problems that may with some probability occur in space colonists? If so, then we suggest to familiarize with the selection of the 10 most probable health problems, which will have to face (if we do not decide until this point) pioneer era of human space colonization.

Heart problems

Western medical research and monitoring of the 12 astronauts found that the duration of stay in microgravity on the human heart becomes stronger 9.4 percent spherical shape, which in turn can cause a variety of problems with his work. Particularly acute this problem may be with the long-term space travel, such as to Mars.

"The heart of a working space is not the way it works in the earth's gravity, which in turn can lead to the loss of his muscle mass," - says Dr. James Thomas of NASA.

"All this will entail serious consequences after returning to Earth, so at the moment we are looking for possible ways that will avoid or at least reduce the loss of muscle mass."

Experts note that after returning to Earth heart regains its original shape, but no one knows as one of the most important organs of the body behave after a long flight. Doctors have known cases where returning back astronauts experience dizziness and disorientation. In some cases, there is an abrupt change in blood pressure (there is its sharp decline), especially when the person is trying to get to his feet. In addition, some astronauts during missions observed arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

Researchers have noted the need to develop methods and rules that will allow travelers to avoid of deep space these types of problems. As noted, such methods and rules could be useful not only astronauts, but also ordinary people in the world - experiencing problems of the heart, as well as those who are prescribed bed rest.

At the moment, began a five-year research program, whose task will be to determine the impact of space on the acceleration of the astronauts atherosclerosis (blood vessel disease).

Drunkenness and mental disorders
Despite the fact that NASA conducted an anonymous survey was cleared in the frequent use of alcohol by astronauts in 2007, there were two cases where the fact of drunken astronauts from NASA allowed to fly within the Russian spacecraft "Soyuz". At the same time people were allowed to fly even after the doctors who prepared these astronauts to fly, as well as other members of the mission told his superiors about the very hot condition of their colleagues.

According to the security policy of the time, NASA has said the official ban alcohol use by astronauts for 12 hours before a training flight. The effect of this rule is also tacitly assumed and space flight. However, after the above incident, NASA has angered such carelessness astronauts, the agency decided to make this rule with respect to spaceflight official.

Former astronaut Mike Malleyn once told that astronauts drank alcohol before the flight to dehydration (alcohol dehydrates) to ultimately reduce the load on the bladder and in the moment of start suddenly not want to use the toilet.

Its place among the hazards in the space missions and also had a psychological aspect. During a space mission Skylab 4 astronauts so "tired" to communicate with Mission Control Centre that they almost turned off the radio day and ignore incoming messages from NASA. After that incident, scientists are trying to identify and solve potential adverse psychological effects that may occur in a more stressful and lengthy missions to Mars.

Lack of sleep and use of hypnotics

A ten-year study showed that the final weeks before the start and during the early space missions, astronauts clearly enough sleep. Among the respondents, three out of four admitted that they had used medications that help them sleep, even despite the fact that the use of these medications could be dangerous during the spacecraft control when working with other equipment. The most dangerous situation in this case would be when astronauts took the same drug in the same time. In this case, at the time of onset emergencies requiring immediate solutions, they could just sleep through it.

Despite the fact that NASA attributed to each astronaut to sleep for at least eight and a half hours a day, most of them on a daily basis rested only about six hours during the mission. The seriousness of such a body burden was compounded by the fact that during the last three months of training before flying every day people slept less than six and a half hours.

"Future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond will require the development of more effective measures to address the issues of lack of sleep and optimizing human performance during space flight," - said a senior researcher of this issue Dr. Charles Czeisler.

"These measures may include changes in work schedule, which will be carried out taking into account the effects on humans of certain light waves, as well as changes in behavioral strategies for a more comfortable crew goes to sleep, which is absolutely necessary for the restoration of health, strength and good mood the next day ".

hearing loss

Studies have shown that even with the mission of space shuttle astronauts were observed in some cases considerable time and less significant hearing loss. They are most often observed when exposed to people treble. The members of the crew of the Soviet space station "Salyut-7" and Russian "Peace" were also recorded minor or very significant effects of hearing loss after returning to Earth. Again, in all these cases, the cause partial or complete temporary hearing loss is exposure to high sound frequencies.

The crew of the International Space Station prescribed everyday wearing earplugs. To reduce noise on board the ISS, among other measures, it was suggested the use of special sound-proof linings inside the walls of the station, as well as installing quieter fans.

However, apart from a noisy background, hearing loss may be influenced by other factors: for example, the state of the atmosphere inside the station, increased intracranial pressure, and elevated levels of carbon dioxide inside the station.

In 2015, NASA plans to help the ISS crew to begin exploring possible ways to avoid the effects of hearing loss during a one-year mission. Scientists want to see how long it is possible to avoid such effects, and find an acceptable risk associated with hearing loss. A key objective of the experiment is to determine how to minimize hearing loss completely, and not only during a space mission specifically taken.

Kidney stones

Every tenth person in the world will sooner or later manifest problem of kidney stones. However, this issue becomes more acute when it comes to the astronauts, because in space the bones of the body begin to lose nutrients faster than on Earth. Ingestion distinguished salt (calcium phosphate), which penetrate through the blood and accumulated in the kidneys. These salts can be compacted and take shape stones. The size of these stones can range from microscopic to quite a serious - up to the size of a walnut. The problem is that these stones can block the blood vessels and other streams which are fed or withdrawn from the body of excess renal substance.

For astronauts risk of kidney stone is more dangerous than that in microgravity can decrease the amount of blood inside the body. In addition, many astronauts do not drink 2 liters of fluid a day, which, in turn, could provide complete hydration of the body and not let stagnate stones in the kidneys, leading them particles in the urine.

It is noted that at least 14 American astronauts developed a problem with kidney stones is almost never the same after completion of their space missions. In 1982 he was recorded case of acute pain in a crew member aboard the Soviet station "Salyut-7". Astronaut in two days suffered from severe pain, while his friend had no choice but to watch helplessly as the suffering of his colleagues. At first we all thought acute appendicitis, but after a time the urine astronaut came a small kidney stone.

Scientists have very long time to develop special ultrasound machine the size of a desktop computer, which can detect kidney stones and remove them with pulses of sound waves. I think, on board the ship, next to Mars, such a thing could definitely come in handy.

lung disease

Despite the fact that we do not know with precision what the negative health effects can cause dust from other planets or asteroids, scientists still know some very unpleasant consequences that may occur as a result of the impact of lunar dust.

The most serious effect of inhalation of dust is likely to affect the lungs. However, incredibly sharp particles of lunar dust may cause serious damage not only easy, but also the heart, at the same time causing a whole bunch of different ailments ranging from severe inflammation of to cancer. Similar effects can cause, such as asbestos.

Sharp dust particles can harm not only the internal organs, but also cause inflammation and abrasions on the skin. To protect requires the use of special multi-layer kevlaropodobyh materials. Moondust can easily damage the cornea, which in turn may be the most serious emergency situation for the person in space.

Scientists note with regret that they are unable to simulate the lunar soil and carry out a complete set of tests needed to determine the effects of lunar dust on the body. One of the difficulties in solving this problem lies in the fact that the Earth dust particles are not in a vacuum and are continually exposed to radiation. Only additional research dust directly on the surface of the Moon, not in the lab, scientists will be able to provide the necessary data for the development of effective methods of protection against these tiny toxic killers.

Failure of the immune system

Our immune system changes and responding to any, even the slightest changes in our body. Lack of sleep, lack of nutrient intake or even normal stress - all this weakens our immune system. But it is in the world. The change in the immune system in space could eventually turn into a common cold or potentially dangerous in the development of a much more serious disease.
In space, the distribution of immune cells in the body does not change much. A far greater threat to human health may lead to changes in the functioning of these cells. When the functioning of the cell is reduced, already depressed viruses in the human body, can re-awaken. And to make it actually secretly, without showing symptoms. By increasing the activity of immune cells in the immune system overreacts to stimuli, causing allergic reactions and other side effects such as skin rashes.

"Such things as radiation, germs, stress, microgravity, sleep disturbance, and even isolation - they can affect change in the immune system of the crew," - says immunologist NASA Brian Kruszyn.

"As part of a long space missions will increase the risk of infections, hypersensitivity and autoimmune problems in astronauts."

To address the problems with the immune system, NASA plans to use new methods of anti-radiation protection, a new approach to a balanced diet and medications.

radiation threat

The current is very unusual and very long absence of solar activity may contribute to the risk of changes in radiation levels in space. Nothing like this has happened in the last almost 100 years.

"Despite the fact that such events are not necessarily stopping factor for many missions to the Moon, asteroids, and even to Mars, galactic cosmic radiation itself is a factor that may limit the scheduled time of these missions," - says Nathan Shvadron of the Institute terrestrial, oceanic and space research.

The consequences of this kind of exposure can be very different, ranging from radiation sickness and ending with the development of cancer or visceral. In addition, dangerous levels of background radiation reduces the effectiveness of anti-radiation protection of the spacecraft by about 20 percent.

As part of only one mission to Mars astronaut may be subject to 2/3 of the safe dose of radiation to which people may be exposed in the worst case throughout his life. This radiation can cause changes in the DNA and increase the risk of developing cancer.

"If we talk about the cumulative dose, it is the same as that carried out a complete CT scan of the body every 5-6 days," - says scientist Cary Zeitlin.

cognitive problems

During simulation, the state of being in space, scientists have found that the impact of highly charged particles, even in small doses, makes laboratory rats to respond to the environment much more slowly, while rodents are more irritable. Observation of the rats also showed a change in the composition of protein in their brains.

However, scientists hasten to note that not all rats showed similar effects. If this rule is indeed the case with the astronauts, the researchers believe they would be able to identify a biomarker that indicates and predicts an early manifestation of these effects in astronauts. Perhaps this marker even allowed to find a way to reduce the negative effects of radiation exposure.

A more serious problem is Alzheimer's disease.

"The impact of the level of radiation, equivalent to that which would have to experience the person during the flight to Mars, may contribute to cognitive problems and accelerate changes in the brain that are most often associated with Alzheimer's disease," - says neurologist Kerry O'Benion.

"The longer you are in space, the greater the risk of developing the disease."

One comforting fact is that scientists have already managed to explore one of the worst scenarios, the effects of radiation. They are at once subjected to laboratory mice that level of radiation, which would constitute a characteristic for the whole time of the mission to Mars. In turn, when people travel to Mars will undergo radiation dosed in during three years of flight. Scientists believe that the human body can adapt to such small doses.

In addition, it is noted that lightweight plastic materials and can provide better protection for people against radiation, as compared with currently used aluminum.

loss of sight

Some astronauts observed the development of serious eye problems after being in space. The longer the space mission, the more likely the chance of such unfortunate consequences.

At least among 300 American astronauts undergo a medical test in 1989, vision problems were observed in 29 percent of the people who were in space for a two-week space missions, and 60 percent of the people who worked for several months on board the International Space Station .

Doctors from the University of Texas conducted brain scans in 27 astronauts who have spent more than a month in space. In 25 percent of these observed decline in the anterior-posterior axis of either or both eyeballs. This change leads to a farsighted vision. Again noted, the longer a person is in space, the more likely this change.

Scientists believe that explains this negative effect can rise to the head of liquid in a migrogravitatsii. In this case, the skull begins to accumulate cerebrospinal fluid increased intracranial pressure. Seep through the bone fluid can not, therefore, begins to create pressure on the inside of the eye.



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