Worried About Ageing? Just Get Some Space

Step aside anti-aging cream. Move over Botox. If you really want to stop the signs of aging, shoot off into space. 

There are various ‘space treatments available’, the first being a quick trip to a black hole. Be the envy of your friends when you return from your 10 Earth year pleasure cruise orbiting a black hole having only aged 5 years. This is explained by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, in that objects of very large mass will cause time to slow down due to their large gravitational pull. However this holiday package comes with a warning:  if your space ship does not have the exact right velocity it may never be able to leave the black holes orbit – or worse if you get too close you will be crushed into a particle that has zero volume but infinite density, otherwise known as a singularity.

Don’t be disheartened – there other ways to use Einstein’s relativity to roll back the years. Coldplay travelled at the speed of sound to show you how it all began, and now you can rev up the speed of light to reduce those wrinkles.  Special relativity dictates that if you move extremely fast, time moves more slowly. Unfortunately, you would not be able to notice this as your ‘internal clock’ would also slow down. The effects may become much more apparent though when you visit the retirement home to show your grey-free locks off to all your mates.

Perhaps the thought of travelling that fast makes you nauseous? Alternatively, you could have our ‘micro gravity treatment’ in which the reduced gravity in space has great effects on your appearance. Great in every sense as you face swells up due to increased blood pressure in your head.  This is because normally our body relies on earth’s gravity causing blood to distribute at higher pressure in your feet.  All that swelling will detract from any early onset wrinkles.

Don’t give up hope on the space anti-aging treatments yet – research at our very own University of Nottingham has shown that space travel results in the decline of seven genes that have been shown to limit life span. These were, however, in worms so perhaps not yet quite the break-through that will stop crow’s feet.

There is still a lot to learn about the effects that extended duration trips in space will have on the process of ageing, and with the high probability that mankind will spend more and more time in space in the future, this is a very active field of research. Maybe in times to come, instead of getting a facelift, mankind will lift their face to the stars.

Ruth Macey


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