NASA finds dangerously high radiation risks on Mars

May 31, 2013 SPACEFor decades, science fiction authors and space experts alike have dreamed of a day when mankind would set foot on the mysterious red planet known as Mars. Last year, that dream became a lot more realistic with the successful landing of the Curiosity robotic rover on the planet’s surface. However, after months of crunching data from the rover’s journey, NASA has released new, health-related information that could impact the long-term prospects of ever putting people on Mars. According to a report just released by the U.S. space agency, the increased radiation experienced during a mission to Mars could ultimately have deleterious effects on the human body. The data was collected using Curiosity’s Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), an instrument specifically designed to measure the same kind of radiation exposure that might be experienced during a manned mission to the planet. The new findings, published in today’s edition of the journal Science, show that radiation exposure during the trip could exceed previously established career limits for astronauts in the NASA space program. “In terms of accumulated dose, it’s like getting a whole-body CT scan once every five or six days. Understanding the radiation environment inside a spacecraft carrying humans to Mars or other deep space destinations is critical for planning future crewed missions,” Cary Zeitlin, a principal scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the leader author of the paper, said in a statement. However, this new information doesn’t seem to present enough of a danger to prompt NASA to abandon its plans to eventually put humans on Mars. In fact, the new data appears to have inspired a new approach toward equipping the Orion vehicle—the spacecraft designated to eventually take humans to Mars—with better radiation shielding. “We learn more about the human body’s ability to adapt to space every day aboard the International Space Station. As we build the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket to carry and shelter us in deep space, we’ll continue to make the advances we need in life sciences to reduce risks for our explorers,” said NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operation, William Gerstenmaier. One person who is not giving up on a mission to Mars is Elon Musk, head of SpaceX and Tesla. He appeared at the D11 conference this week, where he said that a manned mission to Mars, which could still be years away, would take three to six months. “It’s difficult but achievable and we should try our hardest to make it happen,” he said. –PC Mag
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This entry was posted in Cosmic and Gamma Ray emissions, Desertification, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, Fireballs, Meteor or Asteroid, High-risk potential hazard zone, Solar Event, Time - Event Acceleration. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to NASA finds dangerously high radiation risks on Mars

  1. Irene C says:

    So much for colonizing Mars. God created Earth for man.

    Like

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