New research studies how a brief trip to space affects the human body

dallasSpace tourists experience some of the same body changes as astronauts who spend months in orbitaccording to new studies published Tuesday.

Those changes mostly reverted to normal once tourists returned to the city. Landthe researchers reported.

The research on four space tourists is included in a series of studies on the health effects of space travel, down to the molecular level. The researchers said that The results allow us to get a clearer idea of ​​how people who do not undergo years of training as astronauts adapt to weightlessness and space radiation.

“This will allow us to be better prepared when we send humans to space for any reason”said Allen Liu, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Michigan who was not involved in the research.

The POT and other agencies have long studied the effects of space travel on astronauts, including residents of the International Space Station who spend long periods in orbit, but less attention has been paid to space tourists. The first tourist visit to the space station took place in 2001, and private space travel opportunities have expanded in recent years.

A three-day charter flight in 2021 gave researchers the opportunity to examine how quickly the body reacts and adapts to space flight, said Susan Bailey, a radiation expert at Colorado State University who participated in the research.

During their stay in space, the four passengers on the flight SpaceXnamed Inspiration4, collected samples of blood, saliva and skin, among others. The researchers analyzed the samples and discovered wide-ranging changes in the cells and the immune system. Most of these changes stabilized in the months after the four returned home, and the researchers concluded that Short-duration space flights did not pose significant health risks.

“It is the first time we have a cell-by-cell examination of a crew traveling to space,” said Chris Mason, a researcher and co-author of the study, who works at Weill Cornell Medicine.

The studies, which were published Tuesday in the journal Nature and are now part of a database, include the impact of space flight on the skin, kidneys and brain. immune system. The results could help researchers find ways to counteract the negative effects of space travel, said Afshin Beheshti, a researcher at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science who participated in the research.

AP video journalist Mary Conlon contributed from New York.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Scientific and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.