Long Term Space Flight Research Paper

1784 Words8 Pages
Jeng Woo Park
ESS 102 AD
Research Paper
The Effects of Long-Term Space Flight

In the year 2121, Jay and his crew took flight into space. Jay’s mission was to reach a potentially habitable exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b, to colonize and recreate civilization after the nuclear destruction of Earth in 2028. With years of planning and preparing, he gathered one hundred of the brightest and healthiest men and women he could find and built a space craft that could travel at 0.8 of the speed of light. With this speed, he calculated the estimated time of arrival to be around 2126. The space craft is powered by the effective fusion reactor generator, in which a controlled fusion reaction is performed releasing small amounts of antimatter. The massive
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There are the obvious dangers of outer space: the high-energy radiation, the lack of pressure in the vacuum and the severely low temperatures. These cause an abrupt death when encountered. However, there are other lethal repercussions that can leave a heavy toll on the body with much more gradual yet deleterious symptoms that have the potential to linger long after the trip. Some of these issues are the loss of muscle mass, bone microfractures and the reduction to the immune system. Because these problems cannot be solved by our current technology, astronauts must undergo safety measures that help combat these…show more content…
The purpose of the immune system is to protect the body from the inside by eradicating certain diseases before they are given the chance to spread or exacerbate. The lack of Earth’s gravity significantly simulates the process of aging, which is known to reduce the immune system.6 Since humans naturally age regardless of traveling in space, this area of research proves to be a difficult field to study. Fortunately, this process is accelerated in microgravity by a noticeable extent so some observations that deviate from the normal deterioration of natural aging can be recorded. A NASA researcher, Millie Hughes-Fulford, has studied the specialized T-cells, which quickly lose their functionality as humans age or travel in microgravity.6 When diseases or infections are caught by the immune system, the T-cells are the group that fights and kills these foreign intruders. Without them, the immune system has a higher risk of losing to the disease, which eventually leads to humans getting sick.6 Along with Hughes-Fulford’s study on the T-cells, NASA’s integrated Immune and Clinical Nutrition Assessment research groups have also done analysis on the concentration of cytokines.7 Cytokines are proteins that are vital to cell signaling and serve many different roles in the immune system. By measuring the concentration of these proteins for 28 astronauts before and after traveling in space, researchers
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