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Cosmic rays could damage astronauts' brains


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Cosmic radiation could be the single biggest problem for future astronauts embarking on a trip to Mars.

As if building a spacecraft capable of safely ferrying its crew to Mars wasn't enough of a challenge, long-term exposure to harmful cosmic radiation could be so damaging to the human brain that the astronauts may no longer be able to function properly by the time they arrive at their destination.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...tronauts-brains

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Or turn them into the Fantastic Four.

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It has always been like that, thats why they limit space walks etc.

Aaand...a bit explains Buzz Aldrin....hehe

Buzz+Aldrin+Dj8Okm88Dhum.jpg

Edited by Aardvark-DK
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Buzz had the reputation for being a bit of a loose cannon even before his space traveling days.

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I'm willing to loan them one of my tin foil hat's.

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An engineering problem for which we will find a solution.

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NASA is additionally concerned about the potential for cosmic rays to cause various forms of cancer...

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NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, 77058, USA (F.A. Cucinotta PhD), and Department of Physics and INFN, University Federico II, 80126 Naples, Italy (M. Durante PhD). Correspondence to Dr. F.A. Cucinotta, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, 77058, USA - Tel +1 281 483 0968 - E-mail: Francis.A.Cucinotta@nasa.gov

Space Radiation Environments and Risk Assessment

In space, astronauts are exposed to protons and high energy and charge (HZE) ions along with secondary radiation including neutrons and high linear energy transfer (LET) recoil nuclei, produced by nuclear reactions in spacecraft or tissue.

The energy spectrum of the GCR peaks near 1,000 MeV/nucleon, and consequently these particles are so penetrating that shielding can only partially reduce the doses absorbed by the crew. Thick shielding poses obvious mass problems to spacecraft launch systems, and would only reduce the GCR effective dose by no more than 25% using aluminum, or about 35% using the more efficient polyethylene.

Therefore, current shielding approaches cannot be considered a solution for the space radiation problem with the exception of solar proton events, which are effectively absorbed by shielding .

---------------------------------------

Source: http://ntrs.nasa.gov...20080029284.pdf

Edited by pallidin
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Long-term exposure to harmful cosmic radiation could be so damaging to the human brain that the astronauts may no longer be able to function properly

Aah, that explains a lot. My former boss must have been a deep space astronaut. Probably spent an eon out there before taking his new job..

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This is really old news.

Agreed, VERY old news.

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Or turn them into the Fantastic Four.

:yes:
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So why don't they make entire hull out of this special material that prevents/limits exposure to this cosmic radiation?

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These Astronauts aren't all there in the first place..:P

Edited by DefenceMinisterMishkin
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An engineering problem for which we will find a solution.

I appreciate your optimism, but this one, along with the similar radiation problems of a space elevator, seem to rule out human beings in space in any major way for quite a long time, if not forever. The shielding needed is just simply not affordable or practical even if you get it up there. (We are going to eventually have to have a space elevator too -- rockets also are impractical).
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So how did we get to the moon without knowing this and no effects.

???? The article states quite clearly:

.. long term exposure ..

.. not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two- to three-year round trip to Mars

.. this is not a deal breaker ..

The article even refers to some cosmic ray effects noted by the Apollo astronauts.

Longest Apollo mission (there and back) was ~12 days, and this was back in the days where them astronauts were expendable....

Mars mission? Will take 7-12 months just to get there...

Can you spot the difference?

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I appreciate your optimism, but this one, along with the similar radiation problems of a space elevator, seem to rule out human beings in space in any major way for quite a long time, if not forever. The shielding needed is just simply not affordable or practical even if you get it up there. (We are going to eventually have to have a space elevator too -- rockets also are impractical).

This is hardly a new problem and conceptual solutions have been on the drawing boards for quite some time. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/308/1
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CNN MY FALSE NEWS STORY:

The trio of apparently crazed gunmen who shot their way through a lollipop stand have been identified as Clark Wilson, 38... Travon Tenet, 39... and Misty McQuire, 42. All are listed as astronauts.

No one was injured in this bizarre incident.

The last residence known for the trio was Cape Canaveral, Florida, and had recently returned from a NASA space mission to Sector 7, a test midway-point between Earth and Mars.

To further complicate the ongoing investigation, Dennis Weadly, public affairs officer for NASA and former astronaut himself, is reported by KXYZ News to have said "Who? I don't remember them. Want to play with my teddy bear?"

As news of the incident spread to Capitol Hill, Senator Wickinstaler(R-Neb) and Chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee on Space Exploration had this to say;

"Our astronauts receive the finest training and evaluation pre-flight. What happens during or after a mission is a matter of which we, quite frankly, don't give a damn. Now get out of my face you low-life commoner before I punch you in the face"

Edited by pallidin
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Or turn them into the Fantastic Four.

Haha, I had the same thought. "Bummer, there goes getting super powers."

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Cosmic rays could damage astronauts' brains

...or give them super-powers!

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Not to worry, folks! That great inventor Ron Popiel has just come to the rescue with his revolutionary Showtime, I mean Spacetime Cosmic Ray Oven for use by our astronauts! It utilizes patented Ronco Cosmic Ray Collectors installed on the hull of the ship which serve as an energy source for the oven, diverting all those dangerous rays away from the astronauts! There is absolutely NO drain on the onboard power system at all. The astronauts can just "Set it and forget it!" and enjoy delicious meals on any deep space journey.

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Welcome to the site. Fair attempt at humor for your first post, I'll remember you and hope you keep it up.

:tsu:

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