A new study carried out by NASA shows that long spaceflights can make blood flow in reverse. The study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration could have a devastating impact on the future missions to Mars. The shocking findings come at a time when the US space agency is burning the midnight oil for sending humans to Mars. Most of the technology required for the mission is already in place and other viral systems are being developed. But the journey will be extremely lengthy and this is why researchers are studying its effect on human bodies. The study has been going on for quite some time. The researchers are very well aware of the short-term impacts of such a long journey. They know that spending a lengthy period of time in reduced gravity can result in weightlessness and make bones more brittle.
But they don’t understand the long-term changes that it can bring in the human body. The new study reveals that spending a lot of time in space can have weird effects on blood flow. The study, published in the JAMA Network, found that spending time in space can halt the blood flow in the upper body or even make it flow backward. This is a severe health risk that researchers were not aware of until now. The scientists reached to this conclusion after examining circulatory changes in 11 healthy astronauts. These researchers spent an average of six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). While everything was normal when they left Earth, unexpected changes were recorded by the 50th day of their mission in space. Researchers found stagnant or reverse blood flow in seven crew members.
The signs of stagnation were seen in a major blood vessel that is responsible for circulating blood from the brain, neck, and face. Moreover, a clot in the internal jugular vein was found in one of the astronauts. A partial clot was found in the left internal jugular vein of one of the astronauts when they returned to Earth. This could have major implications on long-duration space missions. Artificial gravity systems could be a possible solution but the technology is in a very initial stage.