Part illuminating, part entertaining and part terrifying, Google Suggest is a window into the collective search psyche of our fellow humans. This month:
Interesting question. The short and boring answer would be: yes they do. What’s fascinating, though, is that people in space do age a bit more slowly than those on Earth. Due to the principle of physics known as time dilation – the more something is moving speed is approaching the speed of light, the slower it moves in time. For example, a six-month stint in the International Space Station will add 0.007 seconds to your life. So space travel is not exactly a fountain of youth, but theoretically still a way to extend your life expectancy.
Why theoretically? Because although time elapses slower during space travel, your body is actually more likely to experience aging-related symptoms in space than on Earth. Because of the lack of gravity, weightlessness occurs in space. As a result, muscles are barely used and are therefore wasting away. In addition, bones carry less weight and therefore new bone material production decreases. As a result, in space bones become brittle at a faster pace –similar to the percentage of bone reduction of the elderly back on Earth.
To sum it up: timewise, we do age slower in space as we are moving at a faster speed. If we would be able to move at the speed of light, time would stand still so we – in theory- would live forever. Does this help us now? No. To put things in perspective, we currently have reached a maximum speed of 0.0037 percent of the speed of light. And although you might gain a few milliseconds by being in space for a while, your body still ages at a faster paste – so if you’re hoping to stay young, space travel is probably not worth it.