Just like the splendor of the journey, space travel has its own vices. A long-term space travel leaves a telling impact on the human body, which at times lasts forever.
According to BBC, Astronauts tend to lose a lot of calcium while they are in the space. Calcium is essential for the development of bones and its loss may lead to a situation similar to "osteoporosis"; A condition which makes the bones fragile and is quite common in old people. Due to Zero gravity in space, Astronauts can't walk or run naturally hence they are highly susceptible to this health concern. To avoid that, astronauts are put through at least two hours of exercise a day along with a special nutritive diet.
Astronauts also tend to lose a lot of bone and muscle mass, especially during a long-term space travel, many astronauts face the danger of losing up to 40% of their muscle and 20% of their bone mass. Besides, the astronauts are also exposed to high levels of radiation which may lead to cancer in the later stages of their life.
According to the Independent, six months of space travel is enough to cause substantial changes in the human body. Sometimes the spine expands by 3%, turning the muscles into a jelly like. Faces become puffy and legs might stretch in length. One can also develop visual problems such as bloating around the optic nerves while eyeballs get flattened at the back of the eyes. In some cases, even the immunity system gets badly affected.
Insomnia is another common effect of long-term space travel. After returning to earth, the simple task of standing and walking becomes challenging as the limbs do not coordinate perfectly. The prolonged isolation and confinement also affect the astronauts' psyche significantly.
Despite the challenges, astronauts continue to travel in the space unraveling its mysteries. Scientists believe that by studying the effects of long-term space journey on the human body, diseases like osteoporosis and cancer can be treated more effectively.