The risks of traveling to Mars are endless, and they just keep stacking up, now scientists are revealing yet another reason why maybe it’s a good idea to stay on Earth.
In a study by University of Nevadain professor Francis Cucinotta and Ph.D. student Eliedonna Cacao, they discovered that the radiation in space is just too much for our DNA to handle.
These radioactive particles could disrupt our biological process so much that the chances of developing cancer and genetic mutations are doubled.
“Exploring Mars will require missions of 900 days or longer and includes more than one year in deep space where exposures to all energies of galactic cosmic ray heavy ions are unavoidable.
“Current levels of radiation shielding would, at best, modestly decrease the exposure risks,” Cucinotta explained in a statement.
Once cells are damaged by this space radiation, they send signals to unaffected peripheral cells which will then modify the surrounding tissue. This is essentially like your body shooting itself in the foot.
The reason we on Earth don’t all have cancer is due to our magnetic field which prevents harmful radiation from wiping us all out.
NASA is working hard to quickly create technology and preventative measures for the first set of astronauts to set off for Mars soon. Cucinotta thinks they should hold their horses.
“Waving or increasing acceptable risk levels raises serious ethical flags if the true nature of the risks are not sufficiently understood.”
Luckily the red planet seems to possess many habitable characteristics and evidence that it can, in fact, support human life continues to mount.
Unless NASA slows down the race to Mars, we probably won’t make it there alive.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.