Mars Exploration: Astronauts vs. Radiation

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 28, 2006 in Science |

A very good article on the issue of exposure to radiaion for astronauts wishing to explore Mars:

Future Mars astronauts have radiation on their minds

“Radiation encountered on extended trips to the Moon or Mars could harm astronauts’ brains, experiments on rats suggest. The space farers could face problems with spatial learning, memory and stress.

Astronauts aboard the space shuttle and the International Space Station are largely protected from space radiation by the Earth’s magnetic field. But the crew of a mission to Mars could spend three years outside this protective bubble. So NASA recently awarded funding for 12 projects that will investigate how long-term radiation exposure in interplanetary space could potentially cause health problems in astronauts.”

Astronauts on extended trips to Mars will have to perform complex scientific and technical tasks – radiation-induced cognitive problems could impair their performance (Illustration: NASA)

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