Slide 1 of 14
What Does Life in Space Do To You?From trouble sleeping to wimpy muscles, living on board the International Space Station really does a number on the human body.
Get to know how your body could react to life in orbit with these 6 fun facts:
FIRST STOP: Astronauts Get Taller
You Grow TallerSlide 2 of 14
You Grow TallerDuring the six months that most astronauts spend on the International Space Station, they can grow up to 3 percent taller. Without gravity, the spine is free to expand, making the spaceflyers taller, even when they first return to Earth.
The astronauts return to their preflight height after a few months of being back within the planet's gravity.
NEXT: Puffy Faces and Skinny LegsSlide 3 of 14
Puffy Faces and Skinny LegsSlide 4 of 14
Puffy Faces and Skinny LegsWhen on Earth, the fluids in the human body are distributed unevenly because of gravity. Most fluid pools in the lower extremities, leaving little fluid in the top of the body. Life in orbit changes all of that.
For the first few weeks of spaceflight, most astronauts appear to have a puffy head and skinny legs. The fluid in their bodies redistributes evenly when gravity isn't playing a role in their biological systems. After a little time in orbit, however, the body adapts to the new distribution of fluids, and the astronauts don't appear as puffy.
NEXT: Coordination Trouble on EarthSlide 5 of 14
Coordination Conundrum After LandingSlide 6 of 14
Coordination Conundrum After LandingAfter coming home from a stint on the space station, many astronauts have reported difficulty adjusting back to gravity.
Sometimes, spaceflyers will drop things, forgetting that gravity is influential back on Earth. After six months in microgravity conditions, it is difficult to adjust to life in a place where materials fall if you drop them.
NEXT: Muscle MeltdownSlide 7 of 14
Muscle Mass MeltdownSlide 8 of 14