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NASA releases results of its twin astronaut experiment, and there are worrying
The space travel could affect astronauts mentally for a long time.
When NASA astronaut Scott Kelly went to the International Space Station (ISS), he also had a side objective to complete. The astronaut was supposed to spend a year on the ISS, and the space agency would compare his development to his twin brother on Earth.
Scott and Mark are the first twin astronauts to work for the US space agency. As identical twins, they have a similar genome. After running both of them through a series of tests, NASA was able to tell how prolonged stays in space could affect a human body. This data would come in handy when the astronauts will visit Mars and other planets for long periods.
After processing the data for a long time, NASA has finally released the results in the journal Science. They found that there were physical changes to Scott's body but only temporarily. The changes vanished after staying some time on Earth.
However, the changes in the DNA and mental abilities might not vanish so soon, which is a matter of concern for the space agency. Scott stayed for 340 days on the ISS, which is the longest stay for any American astronaut. He described that he had to deal with radiation, weightlessness, and a disturbed sleep cycle.
NASA has been doing several experiments that will help them understand the consequences of space travel for longer periods. NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have come together to conduct an experiment on napping in artificial gravity. This marks as the first time scientists are looking into artificial gravity to allow astronauts to stay put in space.