The Union Recorder


December 4, 2012

OUR SPACE: Living in space for a year


The effects of spaceflight, and to be precise — of microgravity — on the human body are fairly well-known. Since the beginning of manned space flight astronauts and cosmonauts alike have been used as guinea pigs to study the long- and short-term consequences of living in an environment where up and down doesn’t really apply anymore.

In microgravity, such as on the International Space Station, the usual downward pull is barely measurable, and our bodies react quickly: bones don’t need to be as strong, so bone density diminishes, with most of the calcium concentrated in urine. Our muscles dwindle, because you can literally propel yourself across the room with the gentle push of a finger pad. And our heart no longer has to struggle against the length of the blood vessels all the way to our toes, so it, too, shrinks and powers down.

Our spine is affected, our vision, digestion — the list is endless.

If we ever want to venture beyond the moon, we need to know how microgravity affects the body over very long time periods, and how to counteract those effects, because unless a space traveler chooses to stay in a microgravity environment for the rest of his or her life, they will experience major issues coming back to Earth.

While several astronauts and cosmonauts have stayed in orbit for months (cosmonauts even longer) there needs to be more focused attention on the issue. So both NASA and the Russian space agency have chosen a candidate to be the research subject for such a mission. Russia picked Mikhail Kornienko, a physician (and it makes perfect sense that one of them should be a doctor!), and NASA picked space flight veteran Scott Kelly. Kelly has the awesome advantage of having a twin brother, Mark Kelly, who also used to be an astronaut.

Text Only
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes