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Spending a year in space will do some weird things to your body

Scott Kelly just returned to Earth. But what's changed about him without his feet firmly planted to the ground?

Spending a year in space will do some weird things to your body
04 March 2016

Scientists are now investigating the effects of a long stay in space on the body of astronaut Scott Kelly, after his return from space.

Scott has grown nearly two inches taller having been in space for 340 days, a result believed to be caused by the spine having more room to stretch without the pressure of gravity.

The scientists are looking to compare the many effects that space has had on Kelly, comparing them with the body of his Earth-bound twin brother, Mark. NASA will use these observations to decide how to safely send a manned crew to Mars.

Other topics that NASA is hoping to discover are the effects that space has on your vision (typically, astronauts go up to space with eyeglasses and change to a second pair halfway through), bone and muscle loss (floating through space means you’re not doing much exercise, but they’ve alleviated that recently with workout regimes aboard the ISS) and radiation.

The radiation aspect is key, as scientists have estimated that travelling to deep space (Mars and beyond) radiation can be 300 times the level of what’s considered normal on Earth.

The most notable is the extra height though. So if you’re a bit shorter than you’d like to be and have a few billion quid burning a hole in your pocket, get NASA to send you to space for a few years. That ought to do it.