Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-28-2020


Space poses a threat to space crew wellness, where microgravity, isolation, radiation, and other conditions exert strain on human health. This study explores the changes to the human body in space and how it contributes to major threats to health during spaceflights. The effects of the hostile environment of outer space are all examined here, along with resultant changes to behavior, physiology, and the difficulty of remote diagnosis for health treatment in space. This review also considers the implications to the human cartilage, brain, and eyes along with the various other hazards and physiological alterations.

Human health in space is commonly an overlooked topic. Unlike popular topics like black holes and the expansion of the universe, it often seems not to be an attention getter. However, as human space technology rapidly advances, and the possibility of extended flight and living on other planets is becoming more realistic, these effects and topics must be re-examined. Understanding the changes to the human body is an essential step to moving forward in the journey to further understand and explore space. Furthermore, because of the unique environment that space is, including various environmental stressors such as radiation and microgravity, it is an optimal environment to undertake an increased amount of research to fully comprehend the effects of detrimental conditions. Prolonged bed rest during space journey is known to create significant impact on the human body. Its extreme environment is good for initiating accelerated testing. This field has tremendous growth potential as space exploration is currently drawing in many nations to acquire scientific information on atmospheric conditions, solar radiation, pollution, etc. No doubt, with progression of time and increased participation of many nations in space research, it will be necessary to establish Human Health and Wellness in Space as an academic discipline. This way, even with rapid advancements in human technology, space wellness study should have more reasons to flourish and become an integral part of any space mission.


This work was originally presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, GSA Connects Online.



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