A study known as the Twins study looks into what happens to the body after spending an entire year up in space. The research pulled in from the study can potentially offer valuable intuition to prepare for a mission to Mars.
The study was conducted and properly given its name, the Twins study, because scientists compared data of astronaut, Scott Kelly, and his twin brother who is a retired astronaut.
Data from Russian astronaut, Mikhail Kornienko, was also released along with Kelly’s at the Investigator’s Workshop for NASA’s Human Research Program.
A few interesting factors and data that were discovered by scientists was that Kelly had a decrease in bone formation and experienced high inflammation not long after returning to Earth.
There were also changes to Scott Kelly’s DNA, but as soon as he returned to Earth, everything went back to normal. Scientists say this shows the sensitivity of genes.
Scientists enacted a couple tests to gather an update on the astronauts’ movement ability after a year in space. The results from the tests show that reaction time was slower than normal.
John Charles, chief scientist for the NASA Human Research Program, said, “The preliminary results from the year-long ISS expedition and the associated Twin Study ... have not identified any show-stoppers for longer human spaceflight missions.”
Research still continues on the early data thus far, but more detailed results will be released later in the year and the prospects for an extended trip to Mars seems to be a plan for the future.
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