“Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care, The
Every kid dreams of being an astronaut when they grow up. Who wouldn’t want to bounce around in low gravity, or look down on the earth from above? We all know the cool parts of being in space, but it’s not all fun and giggles. There are downsides to living in space.
1. Low gravity+vomit
One extremely common side effect of going into space is motion sickness. Low gravity takes some getting used to, and most people’s bodies spend a few days adjusting, during which time you better be taking some anti-nausea meds. Especially if you’re about to put on a spacesuit, you don’t want any food coming back up, as it would be trapped in your helmet with you and can actually be a choking hazard.
2. No, seriously, low gravity
It’s not just the beginning of the trip with the space sickness that will get you. Low gravity will spend the entire trip doing a number on your body. Muscle, bone, and blood problems can all come from being in low gravity. Astronauts have an abnormally high rate of osteoporosis, their muscles atrophy while they’re in space (even sitting up straight becomes a struggle), and blood becomes evenly distributed through the body. That may not sound like a problem, but humans are built for gravity, meaning blood pooling at the bottom of our bodies. Even blood distribution leads to puffy faces and weak legs.
3. Space blindness
Inexplicable and unpleasant, many astronauts report blurry or lost vision over the course of their mission. The longer the mission, the worse the vision loss. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why it happens, but suspect it could lead to permanent blindness.
The amazing views and excitement of being in space can keep a person’s mood up for a while, but on longer missions the cramped living quarters and loneliness of space can start to get to you. Many astronauts start to feel depressed and anxious. Not only is the environment cut off from their friends and family, but it’s often a high stress one as well, with serious consequences for mistakes. Altogether, the environment is one that can leave even the healthiest mind a little off.
5. Space farts
A danger even back in normal Earth world, farts take on an ominous air in space. First, thanks to low gravity astronauts fart a lot more. Abdominal muscles relax, you can’t burp, and it all comes out as farts. But even worse is the lingering effect of farts in a contained space, plus the fact that too many farts are actually combustible. So if you don’t want the risk of exploding space farts, stay at home.