After spending a year in space, astronaut Scott Kelly has been undergoing some horrific problems with his body. If Kelly’s medical reports are anything to go by, the Final Frontier can wreak absolute havoc on the human anatomy.
From blurred vision to other, more fatal symptoms, Kelly recounts the toll space has taken on him in his chilling book Endurance. Warning: some of these are not for the faint of heart.
1. Swollen Ankles And “Alien Stumps”
“I can feel the tissue in my legs swelling,” Kelly writes. “I shuffle my way to the bath room, moving my weight from one foot to the other with deliberate effort. Left. Right. Left. Right. I make it to the bathroom, flip on the light, and look down at my legs. They are swollen and alien stumps, not legs at all.”
2. Skin Feels Like It’s On Fire
In addition to his lack of ankle bones, Kelly writes that his skin constantly feels like it is on fire. “It looks like an allergic rash,” Kelly’s wife says about her husband’s skin. “Like hives.”
This sounds excruciatingly painful, but it is nothing compared to the horrors of #6.
3. Higher Risk Of Cancer
The cold vacuum of space leaves little protection when it comes to radiation. With no atmosphere surrounding his spacecraft, Kelly experienced extremely damaging UV rays everyday during his year-long orbit around Earth.
“I had been exposed to more than 30 times the radiation of a person on Earth,” he writes. “Equivalent to about 10 chest X-rays every day. This exposure would increase my risk of a fatal cancer for the rest of my life.”
4. Extremely High Fever
If feeling like his skin is constantly on fire was not enough, Kelly’s immensely high fever should show that space is a dangerous place for even the smartest of humans.
According to Kelly’s wife, the astronaut will wake up drenched in sweat almost every night. This is bad, but at least he’s not throwing up… yet.