Space Case Astronaut Still Has Sore Feet 3 Months After His Year In Space
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly says a year in space destroyed his feet, and he’s still feeling the effects months after returning to Earth.
Space is the final frontier, and apparently it’s the final straw for foot health, as well.
According to NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who recently returned to Earth after a year in space, his literal out-of-this-world journey wreaked havoc on his body — specifically his skin and his feet.
The New Jersey native has answered Ask Me Anything questions both online and at a NASA event about his 340-day mission.
“This flight was twice as long [as my previous journey into space], and I felt twice as bad,” he shares. “After I got back, I’ve talked about just being really sore and stiff. My skin had not touched anything in 340 days except just your clothing. Anything it touched, it felt like it was on fire. I actually had some rashes and kind of discoloration anywhere I had contact. And then I kind of had flu-like symptoms for a few days. Had I not been in space for a year and I knew what this was, I would have gone to the emergency room and said, 'Hey, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’m not feeling that great.'"
What Space Does To Human Feet
Because there’s no gravity in space and astronauts’ feet don’t walk or come into contact with surfaces nearly as much as usual, their feet oftentimes shed a layer of skin and become extremely sensitive. Without thick foot skin and the calluses that normally form from wearing shoes and touching the ground, the feet can feel a lot of pain. “Readapting to life on Earth is definitely a challenge; for me, it’s easier to get adapted to living in space than it is back on Earth after being in space for nearly a year,” Kelly says. “My legs are still sore, and my feet are still sore after being back on Earth for [several] months.”
However, he says the pain he’s feeling now wouldn’t deter him from doing it again. “That’s why we do this," Kelly told a crowd at NASA. "I mean, we need to learn these things if we’re going to go to Mars. And I think from Misha [Kornienko] and I doing this, and maybe other people doing it in the future, we’re going to figure this out.
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