Travel To Mars Fraught With Long-Term Dangers
Living here on Earth, as we all do (I assume if you are reading this you are doing so from somewhere on the planet) it seldom occurs to most of us that our home is flying through space at a pretty good clip.
We also tend not to think of the cold void of space surrounding us; a void filled with cosmic rays and other nasty stuff that is fortuitously filtered out by our tenuous atmosphere.
However, if we actually get around to sending people to Mars, they will be subject to the effects of the damaging space environment for many months - and the adverse effects of extended exposure are not looking good.
CNET"Exposure to these particles can lead to a range of potential central nervous system complications that can occur during and persist long after actual space travel," said UCI professor of radiation oncology Charles Limoli in a release, "such as various performance decrements, memory deficits, anxiety, depression and impaired decision-making. Many of these adverse consequences to cognition may continue and progress throughout life."