• Question: When an astronaut is in space can their bones deteriorate as well as their muscle tissue??

    Asked by cheeseburger to Iain, Jo, Leo on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Joanna Watson

      Joanna Watson answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Yes. Weight-bearing exercise is really important to keep our bones healthy.

    • Photo: Leo Garcia

      Leo Garcia answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      In the zero-gravity conditions of space, the body is not experiencing any of the usual stresses and strains on it which it would usual experience due to motion under gravity. Hence, muscles aren’t being used, and this can lead to what is known as ‘atrophy’ – which means wasting away of the muscle.

      In terms of their bones, yes, zero gravity conditions can have a negative impact on bones, too:


      In fact, astronauts can develop a condition similar to osteoporosis, because the bones lose calcium, because they are not function as normal when zero weight is being applied to them.