Space Walk Horrors: The Shocking Effects on Your Fingernails Revealed by ScienceAlert

When it comes to the impact of space travel on the human body, let’s just say it’s not pretty. Our bodies have adapted to Earth’s environment over millions of years, so when you remove that environment, things start to go haywire.

We’re talking about bone and muscle density loss, vision problems due to excess fluid in the brain, and even issues with urination. Turns out, gravity is pretty important for our bodily functions, including the need to pee. Oh, and let’s not forget the strange case of astronauts’ fingernails falling off after a spacewalk – a condition known as onycholysis.

In space, the lack of ambient pressure poses a significant challenge for the human body. To ensure safety during extravehicular activities (EVAs), astronauts’ spacesuits need to be pressurized. However, this pressure can lead to injuries, particularly to the hands, creating pressure points and restricting movement.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain showing a spacesuit glove in 2019. (NASA)

Research has shown that astronaut hand injuries are common during EVA training and missions, and the exact cause of the problem has proven quite elusive. Studies have revealed a correlation between hand injuries and the design of spacesuit gloves, as well as the size and length of the astronauts’ fingers.

Apollo astronaut Ronald Evans performing an EVA in 1972. (NASA)

A recent study on onycholysis injuries related to space missions found that the design of the gloves significantly influences the risk of these injuries. Additionally, new spacesuit designs are being developed to mitigate this issue, bringing hope for a solution in the near future.

So, while astronauts have to deal with numerous challenges in space, losing fingernails may not be one of them any longer. What a relief! Now, anyone got ideas on how to burp in a spacesuit?


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