A new study shows that the so-called cosmic fever is not a myth at all. With a long time in microgravity, the body temperature can increase, and with physical exertion it increases even more. This conclusion was reached by German scientists who studied the physical characteristics of astronauts who were on board the International Space Station.
In general, an already huge list of health problems associated with being in space and facing the dream of long space travel can be added one more point.
At the same time, researchers note that the body temperature rises not instantly. The increase in this indicator can occur for several months, until the human body gets used to the conditions of missing gravity. About this, at least, say those data on the state of health that were collected before the flight, while on the ISS, and after the astronauts returned back to Earth.
The data show that after two and a half months in orbit in time of performance of physical exercises the temperature of a body of astronauts regularly exceeds an indicator in 40 degrees. At the same time, the average temperature is usually increased by 1 degree and is 37 degrees even when the astronaut does nothing.
"We have developed a new system that can record temperature readings from the skin with the help of sensors capable of recording even small changes in the temperature of the arterial blood, "explains Huns-Christian Gunga from the Charite Clinic in Berlin, one of the researchers of this project.
Despite the fact that physicians and scientists are already working on some of the problems associated with long space travel, actual studies of the effects of microgravity effects on the central body temperature, which is regulated on our Earth by our internal biological systems, was very small. At the same time, monitoring the temperature of the body in space is very important, especially if we want to someday go to other planets of the solar system. Ultimately, hyperthermia and heat stroke when flying to Mars are unlikely to be of any use to anyone.
In a new study, German scientists took thermal data from 11 astronauts by collecting information 90 days before the flight and ending 30 days after return. During this time, people wore sensitive sensors on their foreheads. These sensors have shown that the central temperature of the body in microgravity grows faster than on Earth. Scientists explain this by saying that the space environment prevents the correct operation of those factors that regulate body temperature in terrestrial conditions. For example, the level of heat emitted by us changes into the environment around us, as well as the amount of sweat our body releases to cool it. In addition, in space, sweat evaporates much more slowly, which in turn can become a problem with prolonged physical exertion, as the possibility of overheating increases.
"In conditions of zero gravity, it becomes very difficult for our bodies to get rid of excess heat. The lack of heat transfer between the body and the environment can be a real problem and lead to overheating, "says Gunga.
The increase in the average body temperature index can be critical for our efficiency and well-being, scientists say. Numerous scientific studies show that the daily central temperature of a person under physical labor should not exceed 38 degrees.
The results of recent research were shared in the journal Nature.