Space agencies like NASA and private space companies like SpaceX led by Elon Musk are now busy developing effective strategies to materialize their ultimate goal of Mars colonization.
But now, a new study report has detailed the implications of space travel on the human body, and several experts believe that these findings will put long-distance future space travel missions in potential jeopardy.
Astronauts' brains expand in microgravity
This study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas has found that the brain of astronauts used to swell in microgravity conditions. It should be noted that gravity on earth helps blood flow down the human body. However, in space, blood will pool up in the optic nerve, along with a surplus of fluid that will gradually result in the expansion of the astronaut's brain.
Scientists who took part in the study made this conclusion after analyzing MRI brain scan reports of astronauts who spent time onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Researchers also noted that the changes in astronauts' brains are comparable to people's brains who spent many hours on bed. Even though the long-term effects of brain expansion is still unknown, experts believe that astronauts will face difficulties in performing some daily activities due to this brain disorder.
"A similar phenomenon has been seen in normal pressure hydrocephalus, a condition in which the ventricles in the brain are abnormally enlarged. Symptoms of this condition include difficulty walking, bladder control problems and dementia. To date, these symptoms have not been reported in astronauts after space travel," wrote the researchers in their study report published in the journal Radiological Society of North America.
Will humans evolve as a multi-planetary species?
A few months back, SpaceX founder Elon Musk had claimed that humans are the only conscious beings in the universe. Musk revealed that humans should use this consciousness to emerge as a multi-planetary species.
The SpaceX founder had also predicted that the future government that will be set up on Mars will be based on direct democracy, where inhabitants have a direct role in determining government policies.