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Cosmic rays could harm crew on Mars mission



Bad news for anyone hoping to travel to Mars: New research in rodents suggests that exposure to cosmic rays may impair the brain functioning of astronauts on missions to the red planet.


Researchers discovered that exposure to highly energetic charged particles — similar to those in the galactic cosmic rays that astronauts encounter on extended spaceflights — hurt the central nervous system and cause thinking problems in lab animals.

“This is not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two- to three-year round trip to Mars,” said Charles Limoli, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.


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