It is a little disorienting for astronauts to come back to the force of Earth’s gravity from a spaceflight were there was no gravity. When that happens, they faint. What happens to astronauts when they return home? There is a solution to that issue and the study that was published yesterday in Circulation, the American Heart Association’s journal, explains it.
Astronauts returning home experience high heart rate, but low blood pressure
The first astronauts that were part of NASA’s Mercury program were analyzed by surgeons who concluded that their blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature had not been that change in space. However, the Apollo 11 flight surgeon, Bill Carpentier, explained that the changes made their appearance after the astronauts came back home.
Their blood pressure was lower, and they had an increased heart rate. When Gordon Cooper came back from a Mercury flight that lasted 34 hours, his rate went really high when he stood up out of the spacecraft while his blood pressure dropped giving him the feeling that he would faint. However, after his first step, everything improved.
The study involved 12 astronauts – four women and eight men
The Apollo program might introduce missions that can last up to two weeks, so this concerns experts. A study analyzed this phenomenon where four women and eight men, 12 astronauts, between the ages of 43 and 56 were involved. Between 2009 and 2013 they spend six months in space on the International Space Station.
The astronauts exercised daily for two hours, training for resistance and endurance. In addition to that, exercise is needed, so astronauts do not lose cardiovascular muscle and bone mass. Over times the exercise countermeasure evolved during the studies. When arrived back on Earth, the astronauts received saline IV fluids. In the end, the risk of fainting has been minimized due to a series of exercises and saline IV fluids.