Floating around in space may sound like fun, but it can put all sort of stresses and strains on the human body.
Volker Damann is Head of the Medicine Office at ESA in Cologne, Germany.
He explained to euronews that after-space care is crucial to an astronaut’s health.
“The immediate post-flight programme takes 21 days, roughly three weeks, that is a very heavily scheduled time where medicine has the priority over everything else,” he commented.
According to Damann, the impact of space conditions on vital muscles can be significant.
“Weightlessness looks very great, and is fun, but of course there is no up and down. The heart muscle does not need to pump the blood upwards towards the brain, so like every muscle in our body, the heart muscle also degrades, because it’s not stressed that much anymore,” he said.
Damann added that it is a case of astronauts having to “re-programme” their brains when they come back down to earth.