Skip to comments.Astronauts Going to Mars Will Absorb Crazy Amounts of Radiation. Now We Know How Much
Posted on 09/20/2018 2:03:35 PM PDT by ETL
There are plenty of challenges to putting people on Mars, whether you look at the rocket, the astronaut or the planet itself.
New data from one of the many spacecraft at work around Mars confirm just how dangerous a round-trip human journey would be by measuring the amount of radiation an astronaut would experience.
Cosmic radiation is made up of incredibly tiny particles moving incredibly fast, nearly at the speed of light the sort of phenomenon a human body isn't very well equipped to withstand. That radiation travels across all of space, but Earth's atmosphere buffers us from the worst of its impacts. That means the farther away from Earth's surface you go, the more cosmic radiation your body absorbs.
[Space Radiation Threat to Astronauts Explained (Infographic)]
By the time you're traveling to and from Mars, that gets to be a very big problem. "Radiation doses accumulated by astronauts in interplanetary space would be several hundred times larger than the doses accumulated by humans over the same time period on Earth, and several times larger than the doses of astronauts and cosmonauts working on the International Space Station," Jordanka Semkova, a physicist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and lead scientist on the new research, said in a statement. "Our results show that the journey itself would provide very significant exposure for the astronauts to radiation."
Those results are based on data from the European Space Agency's Trace Gas Orbiter, a spacecraft that has been circling the Red Planet since 2016. One of the instruments it carries is a dosimeter, which has been taking measurements throughout the orbiter's journey.
According to the team behind the new research, those measurements show that just getting to and from Mars would expose astronauts to at least 60 percent of the current recommended maximum career exposure.
What precisely that recommended maximum is varies with sex and age, but it ranges from 1 sievert for a 25-year-old woman to 4 sieverts for a 55-year-old man. (The measurement of sieverts already accounts for differences in weight.)
But 60 percent just for the round-trip is particularly concerning, since presumably the point of going to Mars is to spend at least a little time on the planet's surface ideally, without overdosing on radiation.
Plus they will be away from Earth for long periods of time. Humans are optimized for life on Earth. Living anywhere else will cause stress for the organism.
That will lead to the failure of the program.
What about lead undergarments?
It’s a shielding problem that needs to be solved.
“What about lead undergarments?”
nine feet thick?
And what do you do once you are there other than admire the view?
A few years eating veggie mush grown in human waste and washed down with water recycled from the same will get old.
Its observation was a shock to astrophysicists (hence the name), who estimated its energy to be approximately 3×1020 eV or 3×108 TeV. This is 20000000 times more energetic than the highest energy measured in electromagnetic radiation emitted by an extragalactic object and 1020 (100 quintillion) times the photon energy of visible light.
The particle had a kinetic energy of 48 joules, equivalent to a 142-gram (5 oz) baseball travelling at about 26 m/s (94 km/h; 58 mph). "
Looks like too many ‘killanauts’.
wouldnt they all get superpowers?
Problem has been solved:
Not rocket science.
I’ve read that all the Apollo astronauts got cardiovascular disease from radiation exposure, so it’s not just cancer.
On average they still lived normal lives because they received excellent health care.
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