NASA is set to conduct a study to discover if there are any health effects after living in space for a certain period of time. Twins Mark and Scott Kelly raised their hands up to participate in the study that could bring awareness to future generations, especially those who plan to volunteer on space missions.
Extended Stays in Space
Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly spent 520 days in space, but Jeff Williams broke their record for living in space with 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes,CBS8 reports. Astronaut Jeff Williams and 2 other crew members just came back from their mission from NASA's International Space Station.
Williams' return to Earth inspired Scott with an idea. There have been reports before that astronauts who stayed long at an environment without gravity noticed their visual abilities to slowly deteriorate. Knowing that, Scott Kelly approached Dr. Francine Garrett-Bakelman and proposed to work on a research project together.
The Beginning Of NASA's Research In Finding Long-term Health Effects After Living In Space
Dr. Garrett-Bakelman and Kelly embarked on their ambitious research to find any health effects after living in space for a long time. Scott and his twin Mark Kelly participated in NASA's study and they have faith that the project will discover if health risks are indeed present among astronauts in space,as well as ways to mitigate them. This research project will not only benefit our future generation, but it will also be a good guide for the astronauts who are bound to fly and live in Mars for 3 years.
Effects Of Microgravity On The Human Body
Researchers from NASA are currently studying both Scott and Mark Kelly and they hope to find the biological consequences of spending almost 2 years exposed to radiation and lack of gravity. Astronauts who stay in space for a certain period of time will experience the effects and changes of microgravity. Space-farers will attest that their bones got weak and became porous, their face puffed up and they got taller by two inches, according to NBC News.
NASA's Studying Deeper Health Effects After Living In Space
There are a total of 10 teams who have participated in the NASA Twins Study. They plan to examine the elements that are related and/or that cause cardiovascular disease, immune system function, cancer and possibly decipher the underlying mechanisms of how gene expressions get altered in the course of the mission.
After months of testing and blood drawing from the astronauts, this week, Kelly is scheduled to give his last "integrated" sample and the ambitious research project has come to an end. The results we have been waiting for from this research will soon be within our reach.