It has been reported that astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) or those on prolonged space flights have lesser exercise capacity while in space. This is due to a decrease in the movement of oxygen through the body.
A Kansas State University professor in the U.S., Carl Ade said that the heart of the astronaut and the small blood vessels have a diminished affectivity in transporting oxygen to the muscles. Due to the decrease, exercise capacity goes down up to 50 percent, according to ieTechnology.
Space reported that Ade and his fellow professors at the university studied nine astronauts who stayed at the ISS for six months. They compared the astronaut's oxygen uptake, heart output, and other measurements were taken during a stationary bike test before their flight and when they landed.
According to Ade, there are some changes at the level of the heart and the microcirculation within the capillaries. The study can also apply to aged patients having heart failure. With the understanding of why there is a decrease of oxygen delivered by the capillaries, intervention can be applied. It could be through exercise or medicines.
The said interventions can be used for manned missions to deep-space destinations like the one that will land in Mars. With the determination of the decrease in exercise capacity which will eventually affect the space flyers, their health can be preserved by taking precautionary measures while in space.
It is imperative that studies of the conditions inside the spacecraft and the potential dangers of staying longer in space. The body of the astronauts will perform differently while in space. Even their daily diet will affect their bodies.
Eventually, a time will come when humans will have a colony in the Red Planet and the study on the interventions of the bodily function changes while in space will greatly help in determining the possibility.