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With Commercial Spaceflight Just Around the Corner, Are You Healthy Enough to Fly?

The price of a ride to space is dropping, but is your body ready?

The Dragon space vehicle, launched by commercial spaceflight company SpaceX, docks with the International Space Station. Photo: NASA

All things considered, commercial spaceflight is getting downright cheap, says Business Insider, citing a report from the government organization Space Florida. From 2001 to 2011, the cost of a commercial trip to space has dropped from $20 to $35 million down to around $200,000—the ticket price for a ride aboard Virgin’s forever-just-around-the-corner commercial spaceflight business.

With Virgin Galactic’s ship, SpaceShipTwo, inching closer to commercial viability, and other companies jumping into the fray with their own bold plans (Golden Spike wants to sell you a $1.4 billion trip to the Moon), now may be the right time to start preparing both your wallet and your body for the rigors of spaceflight.

For Discover, Lisa Raffensperger points to a new study that tries to give doctors advice for how to get their patients ready for the next frontier.

The advice… focuses on those individuals with pre-existing conditions who might want to travel to space. Conditions addressed range from the minor—motion sickness, insomnia—to chronic conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis. For motion sickness, for instance, pack a lot of Dramamine. Cardiovascular problems can be staved off with an exercise regimen in advance, and deep vein thrombosis may require a round of preventative drugs. Infections, cancer and pregnancy, the authors suggest, may be cause for a no-fly n0te from your doctor.

So, if a ticket to space is on your holiday wish list, maybe it’s a good idea to make your New Year’s resolution a pledge to make your body spaceworthy.

More from Smithsonian.com:
Elon Musk, the Rocket Man With a Sweet Ride

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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