Astronaut Scott Kelly, at one point in his life, held the record for the most consecutive days spent aboard the International Space Station, an achievement that unfortunately has come with a high cost. Upon returning home to Earth, Kelly now suffers numerous health problems caused by living in space, but he expected as much when he signed up for his 340-day mission. Scientists studying the effects of outer space on the human body hope that Kelly's readjustment to Earth will help them better understand how living sans gravity impacts a person's health. Kelly, who has an identical twin brother who also happens to be an astronaut, makes for a perfect subject when examining space-related health issues. Both he and his brother, who spent six months in space, could shed light on the short and long-term health problems caused by outer space.
After spending a year back on Earth, Kelly shared his health struggles in a book entitled Endurance. While his experiences may sound like something out of a TV show about space, Kelly's medical issues are very real. Scott Kelly's health problems sound absolutely grueling, and he will face issues with his health for the rest of his life. Space already sounds scary enough, and the effects of space on Scott Kelly's body show living in zero gravity comes with zero health perks. Check out these excerpts from Endurance that won't exactly have you signing up for that first trip to Mars: .
Waves Of Nausea
Kelly's fear is palpable on page six:
I'm seriously nauseated now, feverish, and my pain has gotten worse. This isn't like how I felt after my last mission. This is much, much worse.
Muscles And Joints Feeling Prematurely Aged
Kelly wrote about his experience in the Sydney Morning Herald:
It's March 2016, and I've been back on Earth, after a year in space, for precisely 48 hours. I push back from the table and struggle to stand up, feeling like a very old man getting out of a recliner.
An Overwhelming Nausea From Gravity
Kelly contended with overwhelming nausea, also discussed on page six:
I'm also nauseated, though I haven't thrown up. I strip off my clothes and get into bed, relishing the feeling of sheets, the light pressure of the blanket over me, the fluff of the pillow under my head.
Problems With Vision
Even on his earlier, shorter missions, Kelly had experienced a small taste of what he would later experience more extensively after his longer trip in space. After an entire year in space, the previous health problems only magnified:
On my previous flight to the space station, a mission of 159 days, I lost bone mass, my muscles atrophied, and my blood redistributed itself in my body, which strained and shrank the walls of my heart. More troubling, I experienced problems with my vision, as many other astronauts had.