Photo: NASA screenshot
WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday we got the chance to talk to the International Space Station from NASA headquarters, thanks to a NASA Social meetup.We asked the astronauts currently on the station, NASA’s Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield this question during a downlink Q and A session between HQ and the astronauts on the International Space Station:
“So, you guys went up there very fit, how does it feel as your body changes during weightlessness, and when do you think fat people would be able to go to space?”
Hadfield answered thusly:
I think everyone would agree that the process by which our bodies adapt to weightlessness, you can feel it, you can see how your body is changing and it’s really rapid for the first week or two. Almost day to day as your fluid shifts, as your balance system changes, that relates to how you see things.
Sort of like a young ape swinging through the vines you get pretty graceful in weightlessness as you adapt. But it definitely takes time.
We also lose a little weight, but mostly it’s just water. Because there are no fluids that are pooling in the lower part of our body that our bodies are constantly pumping up to our heads. Our legs get really skinny up here because gravity is not pushing the fluids down to our legs.
To live on a space station you need to pass a really hard physical. Just because we can’t afford to get sick up here and we really want to have healthy people. But we are really trying to open the doors to space to everybody that’s the whole purpose of this. To figure out how to safely get to space and back.
And just like early aviation, at first it wasn’t for every body only a few could fly, and now pretty much anybody can fly anywhere around the world.
We are just in the early stages of that. We haven’t invented everything we need yet, but someday soon everyone will be able to get this experience to get up here and be a part of this.
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