When you spend a lot of time in space, you are more likely to develop health issues like trouble sleeping and some cardiovascular irregularities. This is something we have known for a long time, but until now, we have not really understood why.
Researchers may be onto something. A recently published research paper indicates that the energy-producing component of cells, mitochondria, probably plays a key role in space-born illness. Mice that developed eye and liver problems from being in space often also had mitochondrial malfunctions.
Several samples were taken from a group of astronauts that support the mitochondrial theory.
These findings serve to reinforce concerns that people will face serious health challenges as humanity ventures out into the black. This is going to be a problem on the way to Mars. This kind of research, however, is exactly what we need to be able to implement policy and procedure to protect this next generation of adventures, explorers, and pioneers.
The revelation will be instrumental in overcoming these problems. Afshin Beheshti, the study’s lead author, mentioned to NASA that this could lead to ‘countermeasures and drugs’ that will be able to maintain good health and a high quality of life while people are living in space for extended periods of time.