Research of the health risks involved in space travel is currently investigating the means by which to make long-term spaceflights safer for astronauts.
Throughout the entirety of the 21st Century, mankind has sustained continuous occupation of outer space by way of the International Space Station (ISS).Astronauts from 18 separate nations have occupied the ISS, and the longest stay at the ISS ever recorded in history thus far was set by Mark Kelly, an American astronaut who was there for almost a year.
In lieu of achievements like these, there still exists a plethora of health risks for anyone traveling in space.DNA damage remains an ever present concern due to radiation exposure, and there are also concerns of muscle loss, bone loss and changes in blood pressure due to living in microgravity for an extended period.
NASA has ambitions to send human beings to Mars in the future—sooner rather than later, no doubt—so the limitations on how long human beings can be subjected to the conditions of outer space are a significant challenge for them.As such, NASA conducts thorough research on how to improve space travel conditions.
Part of NASA's related research involves a request that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine give them an independent review of as many as 30 evidence reports regarding the health risks for humans in long-term spaceflights and explorative expeditions.Today, a committee of pundits from the National Academies released their fourth of five reports entailing their findings on exactly this.
Valerie Neal, Ph.D.historian at the National Air and Space Museum, said, "The radiation problem is the toughest one to solve and the most concerning." Neal worked at NASA for 10 years.