Health Risk of Space Tourism

Health Risk of Space Tourism

Author: ChemistryViews; Image © DLR

The first tickets have already been sold to space tourists. However, the passengers will not be as fit or healthy as astronauts, but rather people with greatly varying health conditions. Scientists at the German Aerospace Center and physicians from Witten/Herdecke University, Germany, analyzed the prevalent risks in a pilot study. Using a long-arm centrifuge, they subject participants to 15 minutes of the forces that space tourists would encounter during takeoff and landing. Their aim is to determine the influence of increased gravity on blood coagulation.

A preliminary trend from the study is that increased gravity raises the capacity of the blood to clot. Until now, this effect had only been investigated on human blood cells in centrifuges or on animals.

These investigations should lead to an understanding of the risks, to define precisely how to conduct effective medical checkups before the launch or whether even solutions to certain risks need to be introduce.

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