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Extremely high radiation doses threaten the plan to colonise Mars

Can humans survive on Mars? Scientists fear RADIATION threatens NASA Mars missions

NASA astronauts who could one day head to Mars will be exposed to incredibly high doses of radiation – a risk that could jeopardise the safety of future Mars missions.

Express, UK, By SEBASTIAN KETTLEY Sep 23, 2018 Intense levels of radiation on Mars could expose the first astronauts on the Red Planet to at least 60 percent of the recommended radiation dose limit.

Here on Earth, the planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere protect humans from absorbing deadly cosmic rays and atoms speeding through space.

Mars, however, has not had a magnetic field of its own since it collapsed for unknown reasons billion of years ago.

This could expose astronauts and Martian colonisers to radiation sickness, increased risk of developing cancer, degenerative diseases and central nervous system problems.

Jordanka Semkova of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who leads a team of scientists manning an orbital Liulin-MO dosimeter over Mars, said the future of all Mars missions depends on how space agencies can combat this.

She said: “One of the basic factors in planning and designing a long-duration crewed mission to Mars is consideration of the radiation risk.

“Radiation doses accumulated by astronauts in interplanetary space would be several hundreds times larger than the doses accumulated by humans over the same time period on Earth, and several times larger than the doses of astronaut and cosmonauts working on the International Space Station.

“Our results show that the journey itself would provide very significant exposure for the astronauts to radiation.”

The findings were presented this week at the European Planetary Science Congress 2018 in partnership with the European Space Agency.

The journey itself would provide very significant exposure for the astronauts to radiation

Jordanka Semkova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

According to the results, a 12-month-long round trip to Mars and back would expose astronauts to about 60 percent of the recommended radiation dosage for their entire career.

In space, millions of atoms and particles from the Sun and from outside of the solar system barrel through space at near the speed of light.

When exposed to unprotected human bodies, the particles violently tear through DNA, causing all sorts of genetic problems to arise.

Damaged DNA molecules can trigger cancers cells to grow, impair vision and cause the heart to fall ill.

During the course of just one week on the International Space Station (ISS), astronauts are exposed to roughly the equivalent of one year of radiation on Earth.

According to the ESA, astronauts who have been going into space since the 1960s have been reporting flashes of light even when they close their eyes.

These flashes are believed to be cosmic rays passing through the eye and triggering a response in the retina……….


September 26, 2018 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology

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