According to recent findings, astronauts who have spent a continuous two and a half or more months in space hold a much higher likelihood to suffer from an ailment now known as the “space fever”. This mysterious health issue is evidently caused by the fact that the zero gravity of space raises CBT, or core body temperature, by one degree Celsius, in that span.
Reports by the Independent reveal that a new study has found that this rise in CBT is not an immediate side effect, but something which takes time to slowly build up. The report added that physical and mental aptitude in humans can be affected by even the slightest differences in body temperature, and with the next huge mission being planned for Mars in a matter of months, these findings may be crucial to how experts approach space travel.
In the study, which was originally published by researchers on the Nature.com website, it was written that the space fever may hold serious implications for astronauts’ well being and health during lengthy spaceflights. They also found that the human core body temperature not only rises much faster when active in space compared to when active on earth, but that it maintains a higher temperature even at rest.
The study revealed that this dramatic rise in body temperature while in space is likely caused by the reduced levels of gravity, which creates a lessened amount of heat transferred during contact. To explain – humans give off heat when touching something or someone, but as they aren’t as likely to do so in space, it means keeping more of the heat inside. Also, the gravity situation makes it harder for sweat evaporation to happen – this being another way the body cools itself – and without these regulators, core body temperature rises and space fever is contracted.
The reduced amounts of heat released in contact transfer is most often felt by astronauts while exercising as more than 80 percent of the energy that they are burning is immediately turned into heat.
Astronauts have reported that heat stress is a severe difficulty for them during exercise.