The study focused on bone loss, its impact on astronauts, and their recovery back on Earth

A thorough understanding of the consequences of space flight on the human body and how to mitigate them is being provided by a study 

study of bone loss in 17 astronauts who travelled aboard the International Space Station.

This knowledge is essential in advance of potential ambitious future missions.

The study gathered new information on the extent to which bone mineral density can be recovered on Earth and the bone loss in astronauts brought on by the microgravity of space

It involved 14 male and three female astronauts, with an average age of 47, who spent between four and seven months in space on missions that lasted, on average, roughly five and a half months.

An average of 2.1 percent less bone mineral density and 1.3 percent less bone strength could be seen in the tibia, one of the lower leg's bones, a year after astronauts returned to Earth.

 Nine had a persistent reduction in bone mineral density that did not improve after the space mission.

"We are aware that long-duration spaceflight causes bone loss in astronauts

Leigh Gabel, a professor of exercise science at the University of Calgary, is the lead author of the study, which was published this week in the journal Scientific Reports.

"What's novel about this study is that we followed astronauts for a year after their space travel to understand if and how bone recovers," she said.

During their six-month space missions, astronauts "had severe bone loss—loss that we would expect to see in older adults over the course of two decades on Earth

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