Cambridge Science Centre

 

Does space flight affect the human body?

Written on 28 Sep 2015 in Blog

Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko have embarked on their longest mission yet, living on the International Space Station for just shy of a year. However, the duo are under far more scientific scrutiny than ever before as NASA strives to understand whether space flight affects the human body, not just a physical but a genetic level. Kelly and Kornienko will take part in a number of physical and mental tests during their stay, but Kelly offers an interesting variable.

Scott Kelly has an identical twin brother on the ground, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. They will both undergo the same tests throughout the year and scientists will compare the results. As they are identical twins it is the closest science can get to two matching sets of DNA, which will enable scientists to gain a better understanding of how space flight affects human genes.

The aim of the mission is to understand the physical degradation of space flight and to prepare humans for the journey to Mars.

If you are interested in finding out for yourself what it takes to stay alive in microgravity, head down to the Cambridge Science Centre’s COSMIC exhibition for an unforgettable space adventure.