Interested in space travel? This experiment lets you feel lack of gravity on Earth


ESA’s SciSpacE team and a team of scientists from the European Space Agency have reportedly joined forces to design an experiment focusing on the effects of weightlessness on the human body. The experiment is being conducted to measure the effects of a variety of changes that occur in astronauts’ bodies due to the lack of gravity during space missions.

According to the statement from the European Space Agency, “Astronauts’ bodies experience a multitude of changes during missions on the International Space Station due to the lack of gravity – everything from vision to cardiovascular health to bone density is affected. Although astronauts exercise and take dietary supplements to mitigate some of these effects, a better understanding of deconditioning in zero gravity could allow physicians to design better treatments.” but also could improve treatment strategies for common health conditions here on Earth.”

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To achieve this feat, “ESA’s SciSpacE team and a team of European scientists designed Vivaldi, which takes place at the MEDES space clinic (Institute of Space Medicine and Physiology) in Toulouse, France – one of the few facilities in Europe that doing this can accommodate such studies.”

So what exactly is Vivaldi?

According to the statement, “Vivaldi is an experiment focused on what is known as dry immersion – a ground-based analog of the effects of microgravity on the body. As the name suggests, dry diving involves being immersed in water for long periods of time while remaining dry. For this purpose, the participants are dressed in waterproof fabric and placed in specially developed water baths. Her body is then submerged up to her torso, with a fitted waterproof tarpaulin keeping her arms and head above the water.

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It is important to note that “the participants spend a full five days in this position during Vivaldi. Meals are taken with the help of a floating board and a neck pillow. During bathroom breaks and other activities that require removal from the water, participants will be lifted onto a trolley while maintaining their relaxed position and staff will temporarily pull them out of the water. Immersing participants in this manner unburdens the body and induces microgravity-like changes to neurological, cardiovascular, and metabolic systems, to name a few. Fluids in the body shift and physiological processes begin to resemble those observed in astronauts during a space flight.

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The ESA SciSpacE team is reportedly testing to see how similar it is to actual spaceflight, noting that “Through Vivaldi, they hope to pinpoint exactly what changes occur to the body during zero gravity, how long those changes last.” last and how they compare to both space travel and other ground-based analogs of microgravity.”

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