Undoubtedly, the first crewed mission to Mars would be a challenging one because of a few reasons. Above all, there is the radiation exposure the astronauts would face while traveling towards the Red Planet and, even more, once they reach on the planet’s surface. Initial studies in this regard revealed that the crew of the first journeys to Mars might be exposed to significant radiation amounts. However, a new study showed that astronauts might only face 60% of their career cosmic radiations dose.
According to the scientists, exposure to cosmic radiations might result in cancer development and other conditions. Thus, the space agencies’ engineers are struggling to develop better methods to keep their astronauts safe both while flying and when reach and walk on Mars.
But, the newly presented data gathered by ESA’s Exomars orbiter shows differently. Namely, the crew of a round-trip mission to Mars would receive about 60 percent of their maximum recommended career radiation dose.
A crewed mission to Mars may involve lower radiation exposure
While that cosmic radiation dose is several times higher than what the ISS astronauts get, it is still way below what many previous studies have shown raising fear among astronauts.
According to the recent estimates, traveling to Mars and back home is safe. However, there is another daunting issue that still puzzles the scientists. Namely, the radiation exposure once the astronauts reach the Mars’ surface.
The Red Planet has no dense atmosphere and no magnetic field to shield it against cosmic radiations, so it would be very challenging to protect astronauts of the upcoming crewed mission to Mars once they get off the landing module to explore the Red Planet. In this regard, however, NASA would be testing an anti-radiation vest on its Orion Capsule later this year.
Even though cosmic radiations issue is still baffling the scientists, this challenge is not insurmountable.