Astronauts Going to Mars Will Absorb Crazy Amounts of Radiation – Now We Know How Much

An artist’s depiction of ESA’s Trace Gas Orbiter at work around Mars. Credit: D. Ducros/ESA
There are plenty of challenges to putting people on Mars, whether you look at the rocket, the astronaut or the planet itself.

By Meghan Bartels |

New data from one of the many spacecraft at work around Mars confirm just how dangerous a round-trip human journey would be by measuring the amount of radiation an astronaut would experience.

Cosmic radiation is made up of incredibly tiny particles moving incredibly fast, nearly at the speed of light — the sort of phenomenon a human body isn’t very well equipped to withstand. That radiation travels across all of space, but Earth’s atmosphere buffers us from the worst of its impacts. That means the farther away from Earth’s surface you go, the more cosmic radiation your body absorbs. [Space Radiation Threat to Astronauts Explained (Infographic)]

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