Human spaceflight seems all the more remarkable when you consider the fact that our bodies didn’t evolve for space. We suffer in major ways as a result of microgravity and living in confined quarters hundreds of miles above the surface of the planet. Even our our immune systems take a hit, leaving us more susceptible to infection and disease as we spend more time in space. Continue reading Most of us have viruses sleeping inside us, and spaceflight wakes them up
We’re all clamoring to get into space these days, but lost in our excitement to fly to the Moon and colonize Mars is a brutal truth: the final frontier is a cold, inhospitable wasteland that’ll kill you at the first opportunity it gets. Astronauts already know this, but for the rest of us, here are just a few of the potentially lethal dangers faced by spacefaring pioneers.
Seeing as the Earth is a puny nugget of metal sitting atop a nearly 2000 mile-thick mantle of high-pressure flowing rock, it’s no surprise that the rock occasionally seeps out, either slowly or explosively, through the surface. It’s pretty cool to see the magma glowing beside Sicily’s nighttime lights, though.
On a mission to Mars, future astronauts will have to leave the protection of Earth’s magnetic field. As they head into deep space, high-energy galactic cosmic rays will pass through the hull of their ship and into their bodies. This might have dangerous—and lasting—consequences for the astronauts’ health.
There are lots of things most of us never contemplate when we fantasize about living in space: What happens to your arms when they don’t naturally fall at your sides? Do you keep your callouses when you aren’t walking? What’s it like to sleep in free fall?
Leaving the cozy confines of Earth’s atmosphere for life aboard the ISS is an exceedingly rare experience reserved for just a handful of astronauts. But thanks to NASA and GoPro, now you can share in the breathtaking views/sheer terror that astronaut Terry Virts enjoyed during a recent hour-long spacewalk.