Microgravity on the Muscles

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by Dotun670
Last updated 6 years ago

Human Anatomy

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Microgravity on the Muscles

Without gravity and constant use, muscles experience a decline in protein synthesis and a degradation of actin thin filaments. When they are degraded, muscle stamina, contractile velocity, and contractile strength suffer. Studies show that weight-bearing muscles and those that help with posture experience more mass loss than others.

Project PosterDavid AriyibiDarius Armstrong

Microgravity on the Muscles

Protecting astronaut health has been a significant consideration in lengthened space missions. The lack of exercise against gravity leads to slower and weaker reactions and ultimately, muscle atrophy. While these changes may be bearable in space, an extended space flight may leave the astronaut debilitated when returned to gravity.

The muscular system is an organ system consisting of skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles. It permits movement of the body, maintains posture, and circulates blood throughout the body. The muscular system in vertebrates is controlled through the nervous system, although some muscles (such as the cardiac muscle) can be completely autonomous. Together with the skeletal system it forms the musculoskeletal system, which is responsible for movement of the human body.

To combat the muscle loss, astronauts follow exercise programs. After 6 months in space, those who exercise consistently only lose ~13% of their muscle mass. Different regimens show various results in limiting muscle loss.

But, what happens to muscles in microgravity?



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