Thomas Pesquet grew up on the International Space Station, both figuratively and literally. Whoever left while he was 1.84 meters tall is now 4 to 5 centimeters taller. A completely normal situation for an astronaut after such a stay.
In what state did you return from six months in space? If scientists have 65 completed expeditions inside the International Space Station, they have a fairly accurate opinion on this issue, then the physiological changes observed when the astronauts return is still remarkable.
Regarding our national astronaut, Thomas Bisquet, the Normans, among other things, gained a few centimeters during their flight. A growth spurt that would be unusual for someone like him in his thirties had he stayed on Earth. But in space, this rise in volume is not surprising.
In the absence of gravity, Thomas Bisquet’s body stretched for 6 months. The human body naturally has internal pressure, which allows it to resist the gravitational forces of our planet. This prevents us from being withered by the latter. The phenomenon is more pronounced in fish that live at the bottom of the oceans, under unbearable pressure levels for humans. They are usually flat, which makes it easier for them to withstand water pressure.
But to return to Thomas Pesquet, unlike the fish, the latter did not have to undergo even the slightest pressure during 200 days in space. An abnormal phenomenon of the human body had plenty of time to grow in the absence of gravity. Rating for the Norman astronaut: +4cm at six months, a small gain for his 1.84m, but a big problem for NASA and the European Space Agency who had to take that into account when he left six months ago. On his return, the Frenchman had just put on his suit.
However, those few centimeters gained over the past six months should be quickly lost by the French, as they will be back to their “normal” size within a week or two. After 200 days in space, the certified resident of Toulouse has regained the peace of his home and is enjoying a well-deserved rest.
Muscular dystrophy problem
Another consequence of this lack of gravity, the astronauts’ muscles are at rest for six months. In fact, they don’t have to fight gravity to keep us upright, and muscles, particularly the legs, atrophy severely during space stay.
It is therefore necessary, to reduce the risks during its return to Earth, to do a lot of physical exercise during its stay in space. A training that the French did not escape, who spent several hours a day on the treadmill.
This information about the evolution of the human body in space even after a “short” six-month flight is crucial to scientists and government agencies planning to re-launch the conquest of space in the coming years. In fact, NASA and Artemis are first planning to return to the Moon by 2025, while projects, for the time being, are very vaguely targeting Mars and its red soil on a manned mission by 2050.
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