Issue #4(14) 2017 Environment

Zero gravity and the human heart

Ramiro Iglesias Aerospace Development Center, National Polytechnic Institute, Cuauhtemoc, Mexico

Space cardiology is of the utmost importance in space medical studies and in this article Mexico’s father of space medicine Ramiro Iglesias and cardiologist Jorge Kuri provide an overview of the human cardiovascular system and look at how ‘normal’ cardiology on Earth differs substantially from what becomes ‘normal’ in space.

During extended flights in Earth orbit, on an interplanetary trajectory or in orbits around other planets where normal gravitational forces disappear, the body enters a state of weightlessness or zero-g, allowing astronauts and objects to float freely within the confines of their spacecraft.

Modifications and changes that occur to the cardiovascular system under these conditions are an important part of an astronaut’s physical adaptation process to living in an environment so different to that of Earth.

As the body adapts to the physiological challenges associated with living under the extreme environmental conditions in a zero-g environment the cardiovascular system adjusts itself accordingly.

The significant functional, anatomical and pathological changes experienced by an astronaut’s cardiovascular system in microgravity provide vast amounts of valuable data about the physiological conditions of an astronaut at any given time.

Read more of Iglesias' and Kuri's insightful analysis of how space affects the the human cardiovascular system in the full version of the article, available now to our subscribers.

To continue reading this premium article, subscribe now for unlimited access to all online content

If you already have a login and password to access www.room.eu.com - Please log in to be able to read all the articles of the site.

Popular articles

See also

Astronautics

Building Confidence and Reducing Risk in Space Resources Policy

Astronautics

Rosetta - an eventful cruise phase

Astronautics

A Moon of Their Own

Popular articles

  Frank De Winne poses for a photo near a window in the Japanese Kibo laboratory during his ISS mission as Expedition 20 flight engineer. Astronautics

International cooperation - the key to survival on Earth and in space

Artist’s conception of the heliosphere in which gridded lines illustrate shapes and flow as our Sun moves through the interstellar medium. Science

Revealing the magnetic universe