Human Physiology in Space Essay by Peter Pen

Human Physiology in Space
An examination of the human body's reaction to a space environment.
# 53575 | 1,000 words | 13 sources | MLA | 2004

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This paper discusses the physiological changes to the human body during space travel. Early predictions of the response of humans to spaceflight assumed that space adaptation would be analogous to human disease processes rather than to normal physiology. Through studies of bed-rested healthy adults and medical examinations of crews returning from space, we now recognize the adaptive nature of the responses to spaceflight or its ground-based models. e are also aware of the necessity to minimize the flight-induced changes so that crews maintain their Earth-readiness and avoid injury on landing. Lack of gravitational loading affects multiple physiological systems, especially support structures that are particularly vulnerable to injury during reentry and renewed exposure to gravitational forces. Thus, most crew members exercise extensively during flight. Although many physiological systems appear to be affected by spaceflight, only the cardiovascular, neurovestibular, and musculoskeletal systems are covered in this paper.
The paper includes illustrations.

Table of Contents
Table of Illustrations
The Cardiovascular System
The Neurovestibular System
The Musculoskeletal System

From the Paper:

"As soon as they switch to an internal alignment and use the feet to signal down, they are able to function normally. Upon return to Earth, the brain is confused once again as gravity is now available for orientation. This confusion creates postural instability that is compounded with the cardiovascular difficulty in standing. Also, reflexes associated with posture are slowed even on short-duration missions. With long-duration flights, changes in reflexes may become a major issue."

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