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Traveling to space any time soon? There’s a lot of talk about sending people to Mars en masse in the next several decades, but one of the things we will have to overcome as humans is what space travel could do to our bodies — which a new Digg video points out.
Number one, space travel weakens the bones.
“Throughout your life your bones are broken down by large cells called osteoclasts, releasing calcium into the blood and osteoblasts make new bone. For most of your life, these two processes balance out. But that changes when an astronaut goes to space,” says the narrator of the video.
Basically, what this means is that people lose bone density while traveling in space.
Muscles are another problem for astronauts due to lack of use.
“Exercise can help prevent this, but one study found that even with exercise, muscle volume and strength still decreased,” the narrator reports.
There are other problems that astronauts face such as vision problems.
“A recent study showed that around 22 percent of astronauts showed flattening of the back of the eyeball,” says the narrator.
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The heart changes in space, too.
“An astronauts heart can potentially lose mass and become slightly more spherical, possibly because of a decrease of blood in the body,” says the video.
Still ready for a trip to Mars? Find out more about how space travel affects the body here.