July 19, 2024

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Women are more resistant to the physical effects of space travel

Women are more resistant to the physical effects of space travel

When young Linda Halpern had to figure out how to fulfill her dream of a school assignment in 1962, she wrote a letter to President John F. Kennedy asking: What must I do to become an astronaut? the answer It came directly from NASA: “We do not currently plan to employ women in spaceflight due to the scientific education, flight training, and physical attributes required.”

Fortunately, a lot has changed in space travel since then. About eighty women have visited space at the time of writing, about twelve percent of the total number of space travelers. The female body can handle weightlessness well, as NASA now understands. In fact, outside A recent study on the effect of space travel on the human immune system It appears that women are better able than men to bear the physical burdens of space travel, and that they recover more quickly after returning to Earth.

The immune system in space

Previous search It has already been shown that visiting space affects the body on all levels. Astronauts not only lose muscle and bone mass; Their bodies go through many genetic and immunological changes. For example, those who return to Earth after a mission are more susceptible to inflammation, infection, and virus reactivation.

New research shows that the male body is more sensitive to these changes, and that men take longer to recover after returning to Earth. Researchers cannot yet explain why this happens.

“At almost all time points and cell types, men appear to be more affected by spaceflight,” the researchers wrote. “More research is needed to confirm this trend, but the findings may have implications for… […] Future crew selection, for example more women, for high-altitude, lunar and deep space missions.

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Myrthe Prince has worked as a journalist for more than ten years – she has written travel stories for Traveler magazine, been a correspondent for PZC and interviewed numerous researchers for her science column in National Geographic magazine. In addition to her work as an online editor, she writes poetry and prose, learns new languages, and helps her team escape escape rooms.