Many organizations are planning to take humans to Mars in coming years, however, a new research has shown that travelling to the Red Planet will greatly shorten astronauts’ lives due to the radiation they will face.
Though travelling to Mars might sound like one exciting adventure, it sure will have many negative consequences for humans, one of which being reduction in human life expectancy of up to 2.5 years, as showed a recent research.
The report stated, “To date, calculations have been done on the total radiation risk to astronauts’ lifespans following long flights to Mars lasting up to three years during the period of maximum solar activity given varying thickness of aluminum shelter-based protection from radiation.”
The report presented at a Moscow conference on aerospace and environmental medicine, explained that the approximated two years it takes to travel to the neighboring planet and back will shorten astronauts’ lives by two and a half years, wrote Sputnik News.
“When performing calculations for a simple sphere-shaped spacecraft with a standard model of a human body within it, and considering the scenario of a speedy launch of a spacecraft into Mars’ orbit using a liquid-fueled rocket engine and a nuclear propulsion system, it was calculated that for a two-year expeditionary mission to Mars and back, the total radiation risk to the lives of astronauts, regardless of age, with protection from a radiation shelter of 20g/cm2 would be 7.5%, with the drop in average life expectancy being 2.5 years,” read the report.
However, one of the methods suggested to protect these astronauts included the usage of special sleeping bags filled up with water and polyethylene in order to protect against radiation rays during their sleep. The document also discussed the value of drinking mineral water for prevention of ingestion of preservatives and silver ions, wrote Daily Star.
Moreover, the report also focused on other aspects of a possible long distance flight such as creation of a space-based greenhouse for growing lettuce and carrots to provide astronauts with necessary vitamins and dietary fibers.