The former Russian astronaut Sergey Krikaliov explained that the protection against galactic radiations is the biggest challenge in the future mission that will involve men traveling to Mars.
Galactic radiations are the biggest challenge to conquer before traveling to Mars
“Sooner or later we’ll be able to go to Mars but probably not very soon because we still have many challenges to conquer and the biggest challenge is radiation protection,” said the 59-year-old ex-astronaut, who spent over 800 days in space.
He explained that space agencies are capable of going to Mars but that these long missions can be harmful to human health due to prolonged exposure to galactic radiations.
“We need either stronger protection against galactic radiations or a much faster method of traveling to Mars,” said Krikaliov, now the CEO of the Space Flight Pilots department of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos.
Sergey Krikaliov considers space agencies need to develop complex and smarter projects
Krikaliov also pointed out that there is a general misconception on the part of the public about the current activity of the space industry, as citizens believe that the agencies are becoming “slow” compared to the progress made in the 60s and 70s.
According to him, this fact is only partially true because, lately, the space projects have become more and more complex and the space industry is facing more and more problems due to the need to develop smarter systems.
In addition, he explained that experience taught him that “if something goes wrong, the first thing that goes wrong would be the communication with the Earth”, so one needs to be self-sufficient in order to “face any problem”.
Krikaliov is known, apart from being one of the men who spent the most time in space, as the “last citizen” of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) because when it was dissolved, in 1991, he was in space.