Going into space is a serious business. How serious? Well, let's narrate this video from NASA astronaut Drew Feustel.
Feustel spent 197 days – just over half a year – aboard the International Space Station. That's a pretty normal mission duration. And all the time is spent in weightlessness.
But we humans are not built to float around weightlessly. When our bodies are not constantly struggling against the gravitational force of gravity, weird things happen. Among these, our muscles atrophy and we lose bone density about ten times the rate of osteoporosis.
When astronauts return to Earth after a long time in space, the return to gravity can cause a fairly serious dizziness in the sense of balance.
So it's much harder to move than to leave. Feustel's video, posted on Twitter last December, shows how much. He stumbles while trying to walk just a few steps in a straight line of heel.
Welcome home # SoyuzMS09 ! On October 5, I looked as if I was closed with heel-toe eyes after 197 days at the [Space_Station] during the field test experiment. I hope the returned crew feels much better. Videokredit @IndiraFeustel pic.twitter.com/KsFuJgoYXh
– A.J. (Drew) Feustel (@Astro_Feustel) December 20, 2018
The ISS is currently equipped with a range of equipment to enable astronauts to complete a full-body workout. On average, they spend two hours daily with it.
This therapy is intended to alleviate atrophy, but even if the exercise program is in place, it takes at least three to four years for an astronaut to fully recover after six months.
This is the case Just one of the many challenges we need to find for the inevitable trip to Mars. The longer the stay, the greater the bone density loss, and the journey to Mars takes at least six months each way.
From March 2015 to March 2016, astronauts Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Korniyenko of Roscosmos spent 342 days in space observing the health effects of a long space mission.
Kelly was pretty unsteady, as you can imagine. Surely the astronauts are consecrated!