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Space travel hazards in Mars human mission

Updated on October 24, 2012

Space travel hazards in Mars human mission

The human dreams of space exploration are intertwined with physical travel of man to planets, i.e., space travel. Manned missions followed unmanned missions to Moon and Mars is going to be no exception. Mars mission will take not less than 9 months and it is imperative for the astronaut to arrive in the outer orbit in totally fit condition and start the descent to Mars that has no atmosphere. 9 months of avionics and travel in space will pale compared to the huge risk astronaut has to take while landing on Mars. The vehicles of entry to Mars atmosphere may not be able to reduce the landing speed at less than 200 mph. Autopilot options on a manned entry vehicle weighing tonnes are not advisable as it is risky and impractical too with intelligent humans onboard. In this backdrop, it is interesting to note what Don Pettit, member of the Expedition 31 crew, gives 1st person account of the space travel effects on the human body. He also narrates the precautions to handle details of machines that assist human missions outside Earth’s atmosphere.

1. Cosmic rays are the first hazards of space travel. On earth, we do not get overwhelmed by them due to thick protective atmosphere. But while during a travel in space, no such protection even if astronaut is cocooned in a Space station, as nothing can stop them! Their constant bombardment blinds space cameras, momentarily shocks laptop computers, results in hazy pictures taken by astronauts and bombards astronauts involved in space travel with huge doses of radiation. However, this risk is offset by giving astronaut desk duties after return home. But how this single biggest hazard will be handled by Mars mission crew for a long period of 18 months to and fro plus landing tenure at Mars, is to be seen.

2. A cosmic ray passes through retina, irritates rods and cones no end, triggers flashes in the eyes due to local cell reactions in the retina. The distortion of images seen by astronaut takes places even without his knowing it. The flash irritations happen more during sleep phases which are most essential for astronaut to land on Mars in fit condition. Even in normal working conditions, the image distortion is such that perpendicular rays or angular rays appear as fuzzy dot or angular lines. Retina gets feeling as if electrical sparks are created there.

3. Even while the manned missions are in orbital mission over the earth, there are some areas or locales where the cosmic ray bombardment is intense, called radiation hotspots. Over Southeast of Argentina, flux of cosmic rays is 10 to 100 times more intense. While the mission is engaged in space travel in this zone, eye flashes will increase to many flashes per minute.

4. Human body is simply not adapted to indulge in space travel in cold/remorse/helpless conditions in total vacuum for months. Hence, help of machines is to be taken even for a small repair aboard a spaceship. Astronomers will be given great training before launch how to use these machine and kickstart their refunction in case of their break down. Astronomers hence require a thorough operations knowledge of these machines. The task on Mars is going to be even more daunting.

5. No astronaut can afford to ignore imbibing with technical knowledge of the machines he handles. He requires to be constantly resourceful to stay alive for himself but also his crew members’ safety.

The NASA mission already started training dozens of crew members on hostile locales on Earth resembling Martian locales. Mars mission crew with diversified professional backgrounds is chosen from many aspirants. We the denizens of earth wish that the manned mission becomes successful as this time, a giant step by humanity may lead to space travel even if for generations and reaching some exoplanets , heralding an ultimate era for survival of mankind.

Mars human mission



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    • Spongy0llama profile image

      Jake Brannen 4 years ago from Canada

      Lay people severely underestimate the complications of space travel. Personally, it's not for me. I have actually never aspired to be an astronaut like a lot of other boys my age did when I was a kid (I was a dinosaur boy :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Interesting read.