Astronauts can’t walk after returning to Earth, what is the reason?

One of the most common images of astronauts returning to Earth is seeing how they are carried in a chair or stretcher by several people around them. People who travel to space, after returning to Earth, cannot walk.

The recovery is quite long. For this reason it is very difficult to have immediate press statements after reentry to our planet.

What is the reason? Why does this happen to astronauts?

The absence of gravity and how it attacks astronauts

The lack of gravity affects people’s bones and muscles, and the more time they spend in space, the greater the difficulty.

“The transition from one gravity field to another is more complicated than it seems,” notes NASA. “It affects spatial orientation, head-eye and hand-eye coordination, balance and locomotion, and some crew members experience spatial motion sickness.”

As explained by the Starlust portal, aboard the International Space Station, astronauts experience 89% of the gravity that exists on Earth. They do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Without the force of gravity pulling down, astronauts’ muscles and bones don’t need to work as hard. The loss of muscle and bone mass is important.

“NASA has learned that, without Earth’s gravity affecting the human body, weight-bearing bones lose an average of 1 to 1.5% of mineral density per month during spaceflight,” the agency notes.

That is why astronauts exercise every day, for at least 2 and a half hours.

The heart is also affected

The heart muscle also shrinks. As explained by Dr. Benjamin Levine: “The heart gets smaller, shrinks and atrophies, but it doesn’t get weaker, it’s just fine.”

“Function is normal, but because the body is used to pumping blood uphill, against gravity, when you remove that gravitational stimulus, the heart adapts to that new load.”

It is another reason why astronauts feel dazed when they return to our planet.

When do they recover again after their return to Earth?

Recovery takes several days, even weeks. Up to months!

canadian astronaut It took Chris Hadfield five months to readjust to Earth’s gravity, after spending five months on the International Space Station.

“It feels like I’ve played a tough game of rugby or hockey, and haven’t done it in a long time,” Hadfield explained.

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