How Space Travel might Affect the Aging Process

“The problem with Einstein’s paradox is that it doesn’t fold in biology-specifically, space radiation and the biology of aging,” says Frank Cucinotta, NASA’s chief scientist for radiation studies at the Johnson Space Center.

Lots of research has gone into the topic of how the aging process is affected by space travel, with Einstein’s Twin Paradox and the theory of relativity maintaining the front seat over the past years in the answer. According to this, the faster a person travels in space, the slower time is traveled through. And for years it has never been questioned until recently when the latest studies and research has begun to prove that space travel may make a person prematurely old.

The latest studies on aging have shown that the losses of telomeres, or the little caps on the ends of DNAs, are linked to the aging process. Scientifically, this is caused by the penetrating cosmic rays influencing a space traveler’s chromosomes. Of course, this question is based on all speculative answers and probable research, as our astronauts only traveled on the inside of Earth’s protective magnetic field, with the shuttles and the International Space Station astronauts specifically. But due to the fact NASA is planning on sending humans beyond that protective field by 2018 to Mars, we need to know more about the effects on the astronauts when and if they will be exposed to cosmic rays for varying durations of time.

Gerontologists are scientists who study the aging process and space life scientists, are both working together is see if biomedical space research can bring knowledge to the front about the aging process to help our information before the astronauts venture beyond the protected magnetic field. They also are working on the aging research, assisting with the physiological adaptation to space low gravity.

Space and space research always has gravity as a base-consideration where human beings are considered, as it is the main force here on Earth, and the first consideration when looking for a another planet to live in. What space scientists have found with their latest research is that the aging process is developed in the same way as exposure to microgravity, or weightlessness, as far as its effects on the human body. With the resent studies and research done on the subject, many body changes have been discovered while the astronauts or research participants-with poor health being caused by insufficient exercise, prolonged bedrest, inactivity, weakness, and injuries. Major finds were increased susceptibility to bone fractures, slow recovery from injuries, balance disorders, slow immune response and sleep disturbances.