Christina Koch has just set a record for the longest time a woman has spent in space.  NASA is using it for publicity.  But should it?  We know now that lack of gravity has effects on the body, not all of them good.  Koch surely will have trouble when she returns to earth.  Her muscles will have atrophied some in spite of regular exercising in the space lab.  She will have trouble walking at first.  Her heart may be enlarged.  Her vision might be affected. Gravity will feel like a weight and not a welcome one.  We know this because everyone who has spent time orbiting the earth has had similar changes in physiology.  Koch will be extensively tested when she is on the ground, and NASA will learn how space affects the female body.  One can only hope it won’t be too serious. Humans did not evolve in zero gravity, and we are learning what that means for interplanetary travel.

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