According to the latest study done by researchers, cosmic rays may create danger for Mars astronauts. The study reveals that such rays permeate space and causes cognitive impairments in astronauts during their journey to Mars. The future round trip of Mars journey is expected to take around 2-1/2 years.
What does NASA Funded Study show?
In this study, mice met with highly energetic charged particles, which were similar to galactic rays. They experienced a decrease in cognition and changes in their structure and integrity of their brain nerve cells. Synapses responsible for the transfer of nerve impulses changed.
The irradiated particles and supernovas (residual of start explosions) in galactic cosmic rays can perforate spacecraft and astronauts’ bodies. The magnetosphere protects the surrounding of the Earth.Irvine radiation oncology professor at the university of California, Charles Limoli stated that “without a doubt” people would face the same issues as the mice.
Result of the Cosmic Rays Exposure
Charles Limoli said that astronauts may incur cognitive impairments that lead to performance decrements, confusion, increased anxiety and longer-term problems with cognitive health. It can affect the mission activities, especially in case of unanticipated situations that arise while deep spaceflight.
NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at the Brookhaven National Laboratory situated in New York exposed the mice with cosmic rays. The mice after their genetical alteration gained green fluorescent neurons for structural analysis.
Researchers analyzed these mice after six weeks. Mice not only met with brain neuron and synapses changes but also showed decreased performance on tests based on learning and memory. Mice showed less curiosity and given poor performance in experiments that involved objects placed in a box.