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Space Radiation Too Deadly For Mars Mission

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posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:54 AM
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Space Radiation Too Deadly For Mars Mission

Dangerous levels of radiation in space could bar astronauts from a mission to Mars and limit prolonged activity on the moon, experts now caution.

However, more research could reveal ways to handle the risks that radiation poses to space missions.

The magnetic field of Earth protects humanity from radiation in space that can damage or kill cells. Once beyond this shield, people become far more vulnerable.

Astronauts have long seen white flashes while in space due to cosmic rays, or extremely high-energy particles, passing through their heads. A return to the moon or a mission to Mars that NASA and other space agencies are planning would place astronauts at continued risk from cosmic rays or dangerous bursts of solar radiation.



Source

The Van Allen Radiation Belt around earth is protecting us from many dangerous radiation right? why can't they develop something similar to that? a magnetic bubble or a plasma around the space craft?




posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 02:34 AM
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do cosmic rays actually flash white? i thought they were invisible. also, how can you see a high-energy particle passing through your head or even know that it happened (and what was the result from it to the astronauts?).

i bet you even if those dangers were real you would still get a huge queue of people volunteering for the opportunity of going to mars



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 03:08 AM
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The cosmic rays would have to be invisible, because they have frequencies different than what the human eye can see. I'd guess that the rays have energized something else, like atoms or ions, and that those are giving off photons in the visible spectrum.

I wonder if they could put a huge magnet in the spacecraft, like a few Tesla or something, and have it act like the Earth's field, only around the craft? It would probably be heavy, and that's bad in aeronautics, but it might work. Lead shields or similar things are probably also too heavy, and I'm not sure if even those would block cosmic rays with enough energy.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 03:15 AM
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reply to post by justyc
 


Even I was thinking of the same; how could they flash white? chances they might have used some device to see it? May be they are telling all these because the research team needs more fund; About getting people to travel to Mars, who in his right sense would like to miss such a great opportunity? If given a chance with all life supporting goodies, I am ready to explore the whole solar system even if they say chances of returning to earth is very low.

[edit on 1-4-2008 by Enceladus]



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 03:31 AM
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ive heard about this before, the white flash they see is the radiation passing through the light receptive cells in the back of their eyes



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 03:38 AM
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Umm, what about the ISS? Aren't there people up there? I would guess that they're just as at risk to radiation problems as a Mars mission.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 04:02 AM
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reply to post by GrayFox
 


Hey GreyFox


The ISS' orbit is under the inner Van Allen Belt...This belt begins around 700km above earth, where the ISS orbits at around 350km...

Van Allen Belts
ISS


Peace



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 04:26 AM
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reply to post by GrayFox
 


Astronauts on the ISS are subjected to about 1 millisievert of radiation per day, about the same as someone would get from natural sources on Earth in a whole year. To reduce this effect the ISS has been fitted with additional polyethylene shielding that contains lighter atomic nuclei, which are less likely to throw out neutrons when hit by cosmic rays. But then this only reduces the effect, it won't completely protect the astronauts.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 05:38 AM
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Originally posted by Delerium
ive heard about this before, the white flash they see is the radiation passing through the light receptive cells in the back of their eyes



The flashes are called 'phosphenes' and most people on the ground have experienced them as well, maybe less intense than out in space.

Any stimulation of the optic nerves attached to your retina will produce spurious signals that the brain interprets as light. If a cosmic ray passes through the dense bundle of optic nerves at the rear of the eye, the flash can appear quite large by affecting multiple nerves.


sty

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 06:05 AM
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Flashes are mostly caused by the gigh-energy particles from the sun . They are not visible , however when they manage to pass trough molecules, it can split the molecules into athoms . The light is just an "explosion" of energy from this collesion.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 09:02 AM
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Man, I hate to even entertain this thought, because I think we really went--but doesn't this lend some credence to those who say the Moon landings were faked? I know one of the big arguments in favor of the "faked" theory is that the radiation outside the Van Allen belts is too dangerous for humans to endure. So here's my questions: Exactly how much radiation is there in space beyond our magnetic field, and exactly how dangerous is it to human life? And is there any real, cost-effective, technologically feasible way to shield a spacecraft in order to protect our astronauts?

I'm sure covering a whole ship in lead would be pointless--besides taking three or four (or more) times as many launches to get the material up there for construction, any ship so covered would have so much mass it would need more powerful engines and far more fuel to accelerate, decel, and change direction. Maybe having a section, like a small shelter, for the crew? Could sensors detect deadly radiation levels in time for astronauts to get "under cover"?



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 12:34 PM
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Read the article. It says "limit PROLONGED activity on the moon." The moon missions were about 8-9 days. Not exactly a prolonged trip.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by The Nighthawk
 


Since when have space missions ever been cost-effective exactly?



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by Throbber
Since when have space missions ever been cost-effective exactly?


I understand the people here are beyond jaded (myself included) but ya know, when I ask a serious question, I hope to get serious answers instead of the usual attempts at humor.

That said, space missions have never been cost-effective from the standpoint of the civilian on the ground. But there is a difference between a mission that costs $3 Billion and one that costs $100 Billion.



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by Delerium
ive heard about this before, the white flash they see is the radiation passing through the light receptive cells in the back of their eyes

That's correct -- they saw these flashes even when their eyes were closed (actually they saw them better when they closed their eyes)



posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 04:34 PM
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I suppose one good way to check this out is to fire off an exploratory mission to a point a million miles out or so, let them linger around there for a couple of months, and see what happens. We can send off a bunny or a monkey if we don't want to roast a human being.

As far as I know, we've never sent a sample of anything living for a test farther than the Moon. So before we spend a lot of money developing a Mars mission, it might be a good idea to see if we can survive.

If it means anything at all, Philip Corso, Jr. (son of the Roswell guy), said basically the same thing in one of his lectures. That extended, long-distance space voyages by human beings are basically impossible. Not just because of the radiation, but because the quality of space and reality itself changes outside the influence of Earth and human beings just can't make the transition.

I don't know what that means, exactly, because he never really explains it. I wonder if it has to do with the Silver Thread (reference OOBE travel). Maybe the thread can't stretch out into space very far, and if it breaks or fades away, we die.

Oh, well. Mars sucks anyway.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by Nohup
I suppose one good way to check this out is to fire off an exploratory mission to a point a million miles out or so, let them linger around there for a couple of months, and see what happens. We can send off a bunny or a monkey if we don't want to roast a human being.


We don't even need to send a living creature. We know what levels and bandwidths of radiation are deadly to humans, and in what amounts. We can send instrument packages on long-term missions to get this information.


If it means anything at all, Philip Corso, Jr. (son of the Roswell guy), said basically the same thing in one of his lectures. That extended, long-distance space voyages by human beings are basically impossible. Not just because of the radiation, but because the quality of space and reality itselchanges outside the influence of Earth and human beings just can't make the transition.


I don't believe this. First off, the late Philip Corso isn't what I would call a credible source. His book reads as if he was single-handedly responsible for half our modern industry, and a perusal of the history of the microchip, laser, night-vision, etc. reveals he had nothing to do with it. The dates are wrong, the people working on it, etc. Corso isn't credible in my eyes, and neither is his son.

Second, what kind of "reality changes" can there possibly be? Wouldn't we have detected such a radical change in "reality" on the instruments of the many probes we've sent out? And what if there really is a secret space program with bases on the Moon and Mars--wouldn't the people manning such bases be affected? See, this is one of the things that drives me crazy about space travel, conspiracies, UFOs etc.--for every theory there's someone else just as vocal who posits a theory exactly opposite. Do we have secret bases throughout the solar system or is space travel impossible?


I don't know what that means, exactly, because he never really explains it. I wonder if it has to do with the Silver Thread (reference OOBE travel). Maybe the thread can't stretch out into space very far, and if it breaks or fades away, we die.


Yet there's people who say they can OOBE and go anywhere in the universe. Who's right?


Oh, well. Mars sucks anyway.


I'd still want to go there.



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