Specialists warn that Mars explorers could develop brain damage and other cognitive-related conditions. They have recently led a study on mice, which reveals such effects. Scientists say that ray exposure in the space could cause astronauts severe health problems in the long term.
The researchers in charged with the study led an experiment on mice. They exposed the small animals to radiations and noticed the effects it had on them. Specialists are primarily concerned about the cognitive-related problems, such as brain damage, chronic dementia, and inflammation. The effects are also related to memory loss and damaging one’s ability to make decisions.
The mice which were part of the experiment also showed signs of increased fear. Scientists linked this reaction to that of anxiety in humans. So they suggest that Mars explorers are also prone to this sort of feeling.
The scientists noted that the effects don’t wear off soon. Radiation and exposure to charged particles had been affecting the mice for six months.
The results of the study address astronauts who are considering the idea of leaving for Mars. A mission lasting for two or three years could make them experience some more problems than just feeling homesick. However, it is highly important to note that the experiments applied only on mice. There are still possibilities that the same results won’t be obtained in humans, and the authors of the study don’t diminish these possibilities.
In addition to this, similar effects were observed in patients who received radiation-based treatment. Brain cancer patients undergo recovery treatments which sometimes uses too many radiations. The effect is that patients develop cognitive-related diseases.
Scientists have been dreaming for a long time about sending people to space and especially to the Red Planet. NASA is already preparing missions which will launch for Mars in the years to come. Around the 2030s, a manned mission to Mars might also be scheduled.
Moreover, Elon Musk from SpaceX talked about his daring plans of taking people to Mars and colonize the Red Planet. In order to follow the plan, developers must create a rocket able to transport no less than one hundred people to Mars during one fight. According to specialists, the journey to the Red Planet could take more than half a year.
The new study, which draws the attention of future Mars explorers on health risks, was published in Science Reports.
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