Radiation on Mars could damage the brain of future colonists

While about life on the Red Planetnot only science fiction writers and filmmakers dream, scientists have not the most happy news for future colonists. The fact is that the results of a recent study published in the journal eNeuro showed that cosmic radiation poses a much more serious threat to health than previously thought. The study raises new problems associated with the consequences of receiving low doses of radiation for seven months. That is how much it will take astronauts to fly from Earth to Mars.

Colonization of Mars according to the artist may look like this

How does radiation damage the brain?

Using laboratory rats asIn the experimental study, researchers found that “the realistic effect of a low dose of radiation causes serious neurocognitive complications associated with impaired neurotransmission,” including “decreased excitability of hippocampal neurons and impaired long-term potentiation of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.” In other words, these neurological effects have manifested themselves as serious violations in the ability to learn and remember information. Researchers found that rats showed signs that their ability to learn and remember information was significantly impaired. Moreover, animals showed significant anxiety. After all, space is not the best place a person can find themselves during a panic attack.

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It is possible that you and I will never be able to go on a space trip

The authors of the study believe that their worktalks about the significant adverse effects of space radiation on the brain and points to the increased risk associated with NASA's upcoming plans for travel to Mars. Recall that in 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump instructed to deliver the first colonists to the Red Planet by 2033. Soon after, NASA revealed a multi-stage plan for deep space exploration and the exploration of Mars. Moreover, experts said that within the next 25 years, the first people will appear on Mars.

Obsession with the red planet

Perhaps today only the lazy did not hear anythingabout plans to conquer our closest neighbor in the solar system. The notorious inventor and founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, is working hard to build spacecraft that can make travel to other planets a reality. Not so long ago, we told you about the successful trials of Starhopper, as well as the latest technical achievements of SpaceX. Be that as it may, NASA plans to collaborate with the Mask company and judging by the latest statements, they are quite serious.

Do you think the first ones to land on Marscolonists in 2033 or space radiation will be an overwhelming problem? Share your opinion in the comments, as well as with the participants of our Telegram chat.

But not everyone is optimistic aboutfuture flights to other planets. American engineer and concurrently popularizer of science Bill Nye criticized the talk about colonization of the Red Planet, noting the general inability of the planet to support a human, and probably any other life. “No one is going to stop on Mars to create a family and raise generations of Martians. It is simply unreasonable because it is cold there. And almost no water. There is absolutely no food on Mars, and most importantly, I just remind these guys that there is nothing to breathe. ”

American engineer Bill Nye is also the host of many popular science shows on TV.

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield agrees with Nye, who said that not only NASA does not have the means to transport people to Mars, but also private space companies such as Blue Origin and SpaceX.

Personally, I do not think that any of the existingrockets will deliver people to Mars. Moreover, these trips are dangerous and take too much time ... I think we will never fly to Mars with the equipment that is today.

However, despite the fact that there are new problems,voiced by researchers, require more in-depth study, enthusiasts and engineers are unlikely to abandon their plans for the development of the Red Planet. Most likely, new solutions will be developed - perhaps in the form of new devices or even neuroprotective additives to protect against the harmful effects of radiation. In the end, today mankind has achieved incredible success in many areas, so it is possible that representatives of Homo Sapiens will someday plow the space.