10 Fascinating Things That Happen To The Human Body In Space

It’s looking likelier every day that the human race will need to leave mother Earth. Whether that’s some of us or all of us, it’s inevitable that space travelwill be an eventual part of our future. If tycoons like Elon Musk of SpaceX and Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic have anything to say about it, we’ll be soaring through space on our next vacation.

But before we go wildly into the big unknown, you should know a little about the effects of space on a human meat sack . . . I mean body. It’s not going to be as simple as hopping a flight to your favorite vacation destination.

Space Adaptation Syndrome

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Without Earth’s gravity weighing down the human body, you can get space sickness, also known as space adaptation syndrome. It’s like motion sickness but coupled with headaches, disorientation, intense discomfort, and possibly vomiting and vertigo. About half of everyone who winds up in space gets space sickness, so you won’t be in the minority. It isn’t the lack of gravity but rather the sudden change in gravitational force that’s making you sick. Once you adapt, you’ll be just fine. Well, as fine as you can be hurtling in a rocket through the universe. The good news is it only lasts a few days, so knuckle down and try not to puke in the zero-gravity environment. Space puke is even worse than you’d think.

Oh, but when you get into a space suit, you’re goning to have to wear a transdermal dimenhydrinate anti-nausea patch. Trust me, vomiting in your space suit isn’t just icky and hilarious; it could kill you. Imagine wearing a fishbowl with a vacuum tube crammed up there for air. Now imagine puking in it. You’re going to have vision and breathing problems. That gets a lot worse when you’re plummeting through space in zero gravity.

What’s That Smell?

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When you think of space travel, you probably don’t give much thought to the aromas your sniffer will be faced with on your long journey to what is hopefully your new planetary home. If you do, then you must have a very specifically scent-based imagination. So what could the great big void possibly smell like? What majesty could so much wonder possibly evoke? Well, apparently, space smells like seared steak, burning metal, and gunpowder.Have you ever heard anything so manly in your life?

Astronaut Don Petite said, “The best description I can come up with is metallic.”

NASA has hired chemist Steven Pierce to recreate the space odor for training purposes. I think the biggest thing we’re missing here is why hasn’t Pierce marketed the smell of space? You could make your entire home smell like Randy Savage’s hope chest.

You’re Gonna Lose Your Fingernails

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The phenomenon is called fingernail delamination. In a recent study, 22 astronauts reported lost fingernails. So no need to pack your nail clippers, unless you’re a MacGyver type. In that case, you’re going to rip off your own nails before you even get there to save yourself the pain and agony of losing them.

The bulky gloves of your space suit cut off circulation, and the pressure on your fingertips will cause you to lose your fingernails.And yes, some astronauts have taken to ripping off their own fingernails before going on a space walk to avoid the alternative.

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