Recent studies reveal that space tourists undergo physiological changes akin to those experienced by astronauts, with these effects typically resolving upon their return to Earth. Understanding these adjustments is crucial for future space missions, offering insights into the challenges faced by non-astronaut travelers in zero-gravity and radiation environments. While NASA extensively studies astronaut responses to space travel, less attention has historically been given to tourists, who typically have less training. The introduction of space tourism in 2001 marked a significant shift, which was further expanded by commercial spaceflight companies offering short-duration trips.

In a study from 2021, researchers analyzed a three-day spaceflight where they closely observed how the body quickly responds to being in space. Participants collected biological samples, which showed changes at the cellular level, including impacts on the immune system. Most of these changes returned to normal after the participants came back to Earth, suggesting that short-term space travel doesn’t pose major long-term health risks. Findings in Nature journals detail how space travel impacts the body, including the skin, kidneys, and immune system. Understanding these effects is crucial for mitigating them and ensuring safety for space tourists and astronauts. It also informs adaptation strategies for longer missions, such as those to Mars.