As with any sort of flight your health and fitness is a consideration and with some health issues, your Dr. needs to provide permission for you to fly. Your regular insurance will not provide cover you and a higher premium maybe required.
If you are not fit for space flight you should not be permitted to travel, so training and testing should be a condition of Spaceflight travel.
As Spaceflight can be quite hard on the body, in recent times Richard Branson has found motivation to go to the gym , like everyone else in 2020 but his reasons maybe slightly different from your average citizen, in that he is making preparations for travelling into space.
A spaceship from Brason’s space flight company, Virgin Galactic, achieved supersonic speed in a test run. To Branson, that means the first passenger flight to the edge of the atmosphere is coming soon. He plans to be aboard, and has been cycling and playing tennis like mad to prepare, as he told the Washington Post some time ago.
But the truth is that future space tourists will need to be fit enough to handle the ride into space. Riding or ripping through the atmosphere at twice the speed of sound, puts your body in a dilemma, much more than your ordinary Boeing 347 flight to Spain or Barbados. Even your hair is affected by a space environment.
The Zero gravity effect according to NASA, without gravity’s constant pressure, young, healthy astronauts lose bone density. And they lose it fast — 12 times faster in space than elderly adults do on Earth — making their bones very brittle, risking breaks when they are back on their home planet.
Since it takes no effort to move around in space, muscles —including your heart — don’t have to work as hard, so they weaken.
To counteract these potential health risks, NASA normally puts their recruits through workouts before, during, and after space flight.
NASA astronauts in training
ASA won’t even work with candidates if they do not meet their fitness requirements. NASA will only considers applicants with blood pressure under 140/90 (only two thirds of Americans have blood pressure that low).
Within the first month of training, candidates have to swim 75 meters without stopping, and then swim that distance again, but dressed in a 280-pound spaceflight suit and shoes.
It’s a delicate balance however, because astronauts can’t be too muscular as the European Space Agency (ESA) has said that overly-muscular individuals could actually have problems in space (though they don’t explain why), so the agency’s training regimens aim to put trainees in better shape than most people their age.
Both NASA and ESA have stricter health protocols than anything commercial operations are likely to have. According to Bloomberg, George Nield, the associate administrator for commercial space transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration said at the 2017 Space Commerce Conference, “It’s really up to the company for what kind of screening they want to have.” And it’s possible private space flight companies won’t be too particular about medical conditions or standards for passengers.
The Space travel brands have remained pretty mute on the topic of training so far: only SpaceX mentioned the need for Dragon’s crew to pass fitness standards.
Looking ahead, the emergence of commercial space tourism will necessitate new standards for flight participants that currently do not exist. These standards will be to ensure that medical screenings are done properly in order to ensure safe and successful flights. This type of medical screening will differ from space agency astronaut selection and training because the goal is not to fly the highest performing individual, but merely to ensure a safe flight for the passengers under the rigors of space travel.
The main considerations for this type of travel will possibly be:
What type and extent of training is sufficient?
Who will qualify space tourists as fit for travel?
How will new regulations comply with existing medical boards?
What selection-out criteria need to be employed to reduce dangers to space tourists?
Medical regulations for commercial space flight might mitigate commercial space company risk by selecting only those capable of passing standard medical criteria, as opposed to allowing anyone who can purchase a ticket to fly.
The first generation of commercial space flight will likely besuborbital trajectorieswhich invoke significant acceleration changes, causing cardiovascular and pulmonary issues.
Because of this any future medical criteria for commercial spaceflight participants needs to focus specifically on the detrimental effects of rapidly changing gravitational levels, and which individuals will be capable of tolerating this."
Even if Branson’s company has not communicated any health requirements to those customers who pre-purchased tickets years ago but he is clearly taking fitness training for space travel seriously (he is also twice the age of the ESA’s ideal candidate).
We all might have a while to train as the billionaire has been saying the maiden voyage is “18 months away” for some time now for a decades. Although most companies are quiet on the subject of training for space travellers in the future.
Maybe we all need to take a leaf out of Richard Bransons book and start training now. Although with all that tennis training, we might get to the U.S. Open or Wimbledon tennis championships before we get to the edge of space.