Last Updated on Jan 09, 2020

Countermeasures to Minimize the Microgravity Effects

Although many countermeasures have been designed to help counteract the microgravity effects on different human systems, there are none, either on their own or in combination, that have shown to be 100% effective. However, it is known that exercising daily during a space mission using special exercise equipment designed to allow astronauts to run on a treadmill, cycle on a cycle ergometer or perform resistance exercises, seems to be the best way to counteract the effects of microgravity on the human body.(7)

Summing Up This article presents an overview of important aspects related to space cardiovascular physiology, an area of space life sciences that is dedicated to investigate the alterations suffered by the heart and the vascular system in microgravity. The overall affect on the heart and the vascular system of space travel includes:

However, most of these changes reverse when the astronauts return to earth.


Countermeasures like daily exercising on treadmill and other devices can overcome some of these problems and mitigate the long term risks to allow for a prolonged human stay in space.

References:

  1. What is microgravity? - (https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-microgravity-58.html)
  2. Human Pathophysiological Adaptations to the Space Environment - (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2017.00547/full)
  3. Astronaut Lingo: What Is Puffy Head Bird Legs? - (https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/astronaut-lingo-puffy-head-bird-legs)
  4. Recent Findings in Cardiovascular Physiology with Space Travel - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19635590)
  5. Spaceflight-Induced Intracranial Hypertension and Visual Impairment - Pathophysiology and Countermeasures - (https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00017.2016)
  6. Emergencies in Space - (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a102/d4e61620dd77f93639cf47492f7ca6f8c44f.pdf)
  7. Artificial gravity as a countermeasure for mitigating physiological deconditioning during long-duration space missions - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4470275/)

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