Navigation Links
Scientists Gauge Radiation Dose From Trip to Mars
Date:5/30/2013

THURSDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ever dream of traveling to Mars? There could be potential health drawbacks if you did, including a hefty dose of radiation, a new study finds.

A 253-day trip to the Red Planet would expose an astronaut to the radiation equivalent of about 40 to 50 whole-body CT scans, the research estimates.

"In terms of accumulated dose, it's like getting a whole-body CT scan once every five or six days," study author Cary Zeitlin, a principal scientist at the Southwest Research Institute's Space Science and Engineering Division, said in an institute news release.

"This issue will have to be addressed, one way or another, before humans can go into deep space for months or years at a time," Zeitlin said. "Understanding the radiation environment inside a spacecraft carrying humans to Mars or other deep space destinations is critical for planning future crewed missions."

His team added that unless spacecraft propulsions systems advance very quickly, most of the radiation exposure from a Mars mission would occur during travel, when their spacecraft would be the only thing protecting astronauts from space radiation.

The data comes from a Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) the research team had attached to the Mars Science Laboratory, which in November 2011 began a journey to Mars to deliver the Curiosity rover. The RAD recorded detailed measurements of the radiation environment inside the spacecraft.

Zeitlin's team say that while in space, astronauts face risks from two different forms of radiation: chronic low doses of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and short-term exposure to the solar energetic particles (SEPs) associated with solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

GCRs, the researchers explained, are highly penetrating. As a result, spacecraft shielding is much more effective against SEPs than GCRs. These high-energy particles also include a small percentage of heavy ions, which are known to cause more biological damage than other particles.

"A vehicle carrying humans into deep space would likely have a 'storm shelter' to protect against solar particles. But the GCRs are harder to stop and, even an aluminum hull a foot thick wouldn't change the dose very much," noted Zeitlin.

The researchers pointed out that only about 5 percent of the radiation dose was associated with solar particles. Although large SEP events are unpredictable, they noted their results reflect a trip to Mars under conditions of low to moderate solar activity.

Any time astronauts spend on the surface of Mars would boost their radiation exposure, as well, the researchers said.

The measurements they are currently gathering "will be used to better understand how radiation travels through deep space and how it is affected and changed by the spacecraft structure itself," lead investigator Donald Hassler, a program director at Southwest Research Institute, said in the news release. "The spacecraft protects somewhat against lower energy particles, but others can propagate through the structure unchanged or break down into secondary particles."

The findings were published on May 31 in the journal Science.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on the health effects of radiation.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Southwest Research Institute, news release, May 30, 2013


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists solving the mystery of human consciousness
2. Scientists uncover multiple faces of deadly breast cancer
3. Scientists identify major source of cells defense against oxidative stress
4. Scientists tailor cell surface targeting system to hit organelle ZIP codes
5. Scientists rewrite rulebook on breast cancer in landmark global study
6. Warwick scientists uncover how checkpoint proteins bind chromosomes
7. NIH scientists link quickly spreading gene to Asian MRSA epidemic
8. Joslin scientists identify important mechanism that affects the aging process
9. Scripps Research scientists show how memory B cells stay in class to fight different infections
10. Scientists Map Melanomas Genome
11. A*STAR scientists discover switch to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists Gauge Radiation Dose From Trip to Mars
(Date:5/6/2016)... LA (PRWEB) , ... May 06, 2016 , ... ... Health System and David Konur, CEO of Cardiovascular Institute of the South announced ... will be performing a live case of an Intravascular Ultrasound Guided Coronary Atherectomy. ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... ... While the practice and profession of Aging Life Care is not new, ... communities and resources. Aging Life Care plays an important role as these professionals are ... Life Care is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... to submit their products through an arduous federal approval process. The rules, which ... the market since February 15, 2007. That would essentially ban 99 percent of ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... , ... This weekend, from Friday, May 6 - Sunday, May 8, fifteen elite athletes from ... Team Semper Fi Mountain Bike Camp, hosted in conjunction with WTB and ... and Jason Moeschler, who’ll share pro tips with the injured veterans as they rip down ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... LELO has ... Every day, LELO fans reach out via email, social media and on the Volonté ... up: “Is the way I masturbate ‘normal’ or ‘correct’?” , While some methods are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... May 4, 2016 ... the  "Global Multiple Myeloma Market and Competitive ... offering.       (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides comprehensive ... Myeloma epidemiology, Multiple Myeloma market valuations and ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... May 4, 2016 ... the  "Global Actinic Keratosis Market and Competitive ... offering.       (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides comprehensive ... Keratosis epidemiology, Actinic Keratosis market valuations and ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016 BioNovus Innovations LLC ... for Advancing Medical Innovation (IAMI) today announced a ... diagnostics and medical devices. An agreement ... rights to license, develop and commercialize medical innovations ... "This partnership represents a significant advance in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: