Cosmic radiation may not be as dangerous as we think

Space, as we know, is a harsh environment. There's no air, there is little gravity (microgravity does not count). In addition, the space is very cold, but still lurking unseen danger in the form of solar radiation. It is known that radiation exposure can cause the development of serious diseases up to cancer. It is believed that solar radiation in this regard is of great danger to astronauts and a big problem for long-distance space travel. But all is not so simple.

Cosmic radiation may not be as dangerous as we think

What is the danger of cosmic radiation

Space travel body is subjected to higher doses of ionizing radiation than those normally available on the Earth, the atmosphere of our planet holds a large portion of these dangerous particles. In space, as you know, no such protection, and it is believed that at high doses, cosmic radiation can cause heart disease, broncho-pulmonary system and lead to the already mentioned problems with immunity, and increased risk of developing cancer.

This is interesting: Flight to Mars will shorten the life of astronauts for 2, 5 years

Previous studies have found some connection between space travel and an increased risk of death from cancer or cardiovascular disease. But because relatively few people at that time traveled into space, these studies may not have been too revealing to correctly interpret the link.

Fetch New Data

A recent study based on the information received from the 418 space travelers, including NASA's 301 astronauts, who traveled in space at least once since 1959, and 117 of the Russian and Soviet cosmonauts had ever been in space since 1961. For all these participants watched an average of about 25 years.

During this time, unfortunately, the 89 participants in the experiment died. Among deceased 53 NASA astronauts, 30% died from cancer and 15% of heart disease, while 36 among our fellow 50% died of heart disease and 28% of the cancer. The researchers used a special statistical method to determine whether the death from cancer and diseases common cause of heart. In this case, the cosmic radiation. But the results did not indicate that the matter is that it was cosmic radiation.

So whether cosmic radiation is harmful?

A new study brings us good news: cosmic radiation, it seems, does not increase the risk of death from cancer astronauts or heart disease, at least not in the doses they received during their missions.

Cosmic radiation may not be as dangerous as we think


"If ionizing radiation and causes an increased risk of death due to cancer and cardiovascular disease, this effect is not significant," - the authors write in their study, published in the journal Scientific Reports.

However, the longer the mission (such as Mission to Mars) will obviously expose astronauts far greater exposure to radiation, which can already carry a risk to human health.

"It is important to note that future missions to study deep space, most likely, will carry a much greater risk due to increased doses of cosmic radiation. Our future research aimed at to study the potential harm of cosmic radiation for humans in a more long-term space missions. "

Even more interesting and unique materials can be found on our homepage Yandex. Zen