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What are the health risks of space travel?

space tourism health

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

Secret Space Plane Just Launched on a Mystery Mission


www.bbc.co.uk said:

Astronauts are limited to spending six months on the International Space Station, around 200 miles above Earth, for a good reason.

The loss of bone and muscle mass they experience in space is so profound that they cannot stay any longer.

But what about the health impact of forthcoming suborbital flights for space tourists who are not fit, highly-trained individuals?

According to North American scientists writing in the British Medical Journal article, GPs should be prepared to answer patients' queries about their suitability for space travel in the near future.

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#2    and then

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:51 PM

I received a Christmas gift when I was 42 to go up in a vintage WWII trainer aircraft for 30 minutes.  It was a 600 HP "Texan" two seater and the pilot took me through multiple aileron rolls, barrel roll and other moves that nearly simulated weightlessness.  About 3 weeks after this adventure I noticed the veins in my lower legs swelling horribly.  I had valve damage from the pressure of all the acrobatics.  And that was just a piston engine plane.

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#3    GreenmansGod

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:34 PM

I know I'm not a candidate for space flight, I get sick standing on a dock looking at a boat. Can they fix your damage?  That would s**k.

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#4    ealdwita

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:07 PM

I think my first concern would be the 5,625,000 pounds of really angry rocket fuel sloshing around just a few hundred feet from my butt!

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#5    King Fluffs

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

There's something with ageing slowing down and eyesight loss isn't their?


#6    Merc14

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:20 PM

View Postand then, on 16 December 2012 - 12:51 PM, said:

I received a Christmas gift when I was 42 to go up in a vintage WWII trainer aircraft for 30 minutes.  It was a 600 HP "Texan" two seater and the pilot took me through multiple aileron rolls, barrel roll and other moves that nearly simulated weightlessness.  About 3 weeks after this adventure I noticed the veins in my lower legs swelling horribly.  I had valve damage from the pressure of all the acrobatics.  And that was just a piston engine plane.

AT, I think that possibly the flight exacerbated a preexisting condition rather than causing a new one.  I flew navy fighters for years and pulled multiple G's and zero G's (weightlessness) many times and never damaged anything.

Nice midterms democrats.  As Pelosi says, "Embrace the suck".

#7    synchronomy

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:21 PM

The physical effects of space travel is of major concern for long duration missions.
At least for ISS missions the voyage up and down is planned down to the last minute.
The article in the OP really only touches on the subject.  Astronauts also frequently suffer vision problems after a long mission.
Imagine a mission to Mars.  In the ISS, astronauts have room to exercise and move around.  Incorporating that into a spaceflight to Mars would increase cost tremendously.
Then there's the health risks aside from just the effects of 0 g's.  What if they get sick?  As was done with Apollo missions, the astronauts went into isolation for a period before flight to protect against infectious disease.  But there are thousands of things that can go wrong healthwise that are not related to any pathogens entering the body.
I can't see a manned mission to Mars happening until we see astronauts spending at least 18 months in the ISS, with few, if any, health concerns.

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#8    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:58 PM

View Postsynchronomy, on 16 December 2012 - 04:21 PM, said:

The physical effects of space travel is of major concern for long duration missions.
The article isn't really about the health hazards faced by professional astronauts on long duration flights. It is about the hazards faced by the general public once space is opened up to tourism, and the fact that most doctors will not have any training in those potential hazards.

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#9    Merc14

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:58 PM

View Postsynchronomy, on 16 December 2012 - 04:21 PM, said:

The physical effects of space travel is of major concern for long duration missions.
At least for ISS missions the voyage up and down is planned down to the last minute.
The article in the OP really only touches on the subject.  Astronauts also frequently suffer vision problems after a long mission.
Imagine a mission to Mars.  In the ISS, astronauts have room to exercise and move around.  Incorporating that into a spaceflight to Mars would increase cost tremendously.
Then there's the health risks aside from just the effects of 0 g's.  What if they get sick?  As was done with Apollo missions, the astronauts went into isolation for a period before flight to protect against infectious disease.  But there are thousands of things that can go wrong healthwise that are not related to any pathogens entering the body.
I can't see a manned mission to Mars happening until we see astronauts spending at least 18 months in the ISS, with few, if any, health concerns.

I agree.  The weak point in manned space exploration is the human body.  We have to have a gravity environment to make extended stays in space viable.

Nice midterms democrats.  As Pelosi says, "Embrace the suck".

#10    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:09 PM

View PostMerc14, on 16 December 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

I agree.  The weak point in manned space exploration is the human body.  We have to have a gravity environment to make extended stays in space viable.

That is still not fully known. Astronauts may suffer issues after long term flights but usually recover very quickly after returning to Earth. What is not known is if there is a point where the body stabilises and no further bone loss occurs. If that is the case a 5 year mission may cause no more problems that a one year mission. If on the other hand the body continues to deteriorate or there is a point from which the body can no longer return to full health then some form of artificial gravity will be essential.

It is to research these issues that a NASA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut will spend one year on board the ISS in 2015.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#11    JGirl

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:13 PM

well two immediate issues i can see are lack of natural oxygen and hey it's a long way down if you have engine trouble lol
seriously though, i can't imagine ever wanting to go into space even if it were perfectly safe.


#12    ealdwita

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:22 PM

NASA asked me if I wanted to go into space a few years ago. I was amazed because I'd no experience at all. I asked them why they wanted me and the nice man replied, "Well, we figured if you come back OK, we'll know it's safe to send monkeys!"

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
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#13    JGirl

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

View Postealdwita, on 16 December 2012 - 05:22 PM, said:

NASA asked me if I wanted to go into space a few years ago. I was amazed because I'd no experience at all. I asked them why they wanted me and the nice man replied, "Well, we figured if you come back OK, we'll know it's safe to send monkeys!"
you must have felt so honored lol


#14    ealdwita

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:35 PM

View PostJGirl, on 16 December 2012 - 05:24 PM, said:

you must have felt so honored lol

Well yes, but I'm not awfully keen on bananas. (I do know how to spell 'banananas' - I just don't know when to stop! Posted Image

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
(The Yeoman of the Guard ~ Gilbert and Sullivan)

#15    Bonecrusher

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:49 PM

It would be Virgin on the ridiculous if any potential space tourists didn't get a check-up.
Tbh anybody with heart problems shouldn't board despite a huge chequebook.
But I would love the maiden flight to be full of flat-earthers and destroy their movement in one fell swoop.
Then they will realise they have been spouting a lot of hot air in the last few years.
If it was me I will definetly flunk all the tests and that's before the rotating thingiemebob.
However if I passed with flying colours this isn't exactly the crash diet I was looking for.





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