The space-flight environment: the International Space Station and beyond

Thirsk, Robert; Kuipers, Andre; Mukai, Chiaki; Williams, David
June 2009
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;6/9/2009, Vol. 180 Issue 12, p1216
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the challenges related to human spaceflight. It mentions that astronauts are vulnerable for both short- and long-term health risks due to the harsh condition of the environment in space. It cites several risks that can be mitigated by the design of the spacesuits and spacecraft including decompression, thermal injury and arcing injuries. However, radiation effects and the physiological consequences are found to be the two major challenges of the flight. It states that all organs of the astronauts are affected in space due to the absence of gravitational loading, hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy. Accordingly, astronauts are prone to several unclear biological effects including cataracts and cancer.


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