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The Station - Wheat for Oxygenliving in space

The Continuing Challenge of Microgravity

Many of the problems that arise from living and working in space have been resolved. However, the physiological affects of weightlessness are still not completely understood. Among these are the leaching of certain minerals from bones; atrophy of muscles when not exercised; and space adaptation syndrome, a form of motion sickness found only in spaceflight.

All the deleterious effects of living in microgravity disappear after an astronaut returns to ground. Some can be countered while in orbit by special diet and exercises. But even a vigorous exercise program does not appear to stop bone loss, or the decrease in the rate of normal bone formation. NASA is engaged in a long-term program to understand the causes underlying these changes, in order to develop ways to prevent them. This will be particularly important for the longer tours of duty on the Space Station, where crew members will be in orbit for three months or more at a time.

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Photo credits for all images: NASA.

Additional materials in this section courtesy of NASA.


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