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Spatial fever: a new threat for astronauts

Space fever could delay future space missions.


Spatial fever: a new threat for astronauts

Spatial fever: a new threat for astronautsWhen exposed to weightless conditions, astronauts have a higher core body temperature than we do on EarthThis type of “space fever” appears even when the body is at rest, and this strange finding offers us more information about how humans move out of Earth’s orbit. The study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports. Is the temperature increase instantaneous without gravity? No, it’s gradual; It develops over a period of several months as the body adapts to life in space without gravity, according to measurements made before, during and after trips to the International Space Station (ISS).

After two and a half months, the astronauts’ body temperature exceeded 40°C during exercise, and it was 1 ° C higher than the normal level of around 37°C, even when the astronauts were not doing anything at all, according to the researchers.

“We developed a new technology that combines a surface temperature sensor of the skin with a heat flow sensor, and that is capable of measuring even minor changes in the temperature of arterial blood,” explains Hanns-Christian Gunga, co-author of the paper.

The study is part of an ongoing effort to study how we can cope with prolonged travel in space, but until now little has been researched about how weightlessness affects core body temperature. 

Thus, using the new ultrasensitive sensors placed on the forehead, the experts obtained readings from 11 astronauts at various times during his time on board the ISS, beginning 90 days before his first launch flight and ending 30 days after his return to Earth.

Apart from the increase in temperature, the results showed that the core body temperature increased faster in microgravity than on Earth.


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