A recent study has revealed that a round trip to Mars will be a hazardous exercise for those who undertake the journey. They will have to withstand intense solar radiation that could reduce their lifespan. This reduction could be of the order of nearly two and a half years as outlined in a report that has been made public in the course of a conference in Moscow. It was on matters related to space biology and aerospace.

Timesnow News reports there will be a serious impact of solar radiation on cosmonauts during the long journey to Mars. Aluminum shields will no doubt protect them but in spite of such protection, they might face a reduction of around 2.5 years in their total lifespan.

This will be irrespective of their age. Obviously, scientists will have to evolve a suitable method to protect them from this hazard.

Methods of protection

One method suggested by Russian scientists is that the cosmonauts should use special sleeping bags with the provision of water insulation to keep themselves out of harm's way. This insulation could be in the form of water gel or polyethylene powder. They must also consume large quantities of mineral water to counteract the harmful effects of solar radiation. Specially treated drinking water, that meets the requirements of protecting the cosmonaut proceeding to Mars, will be mandatory.

Space agencies like NASA, SpaceX, Mars One have already drawn up plans for the colonization of Mars and Russia also wants to join the race.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had recently said that a manned mission to Mars was on the agenda. That is in addition to missions to the moon, apart from deep space exploration. Incidentally, Russian scientists are trying to evaluate how people from different countries interact in simulated isolation. That is important because, while a journey to Mars is a long one, those who go will be totally isolated from not only their near and dear ones but also from the whole world.

That is bound to have psychological implications, which needs to be understood and addressed.

Solar radiation is very real

According to Tass, cosmonauts on an inter-planetary flight to Mars will have to cope with a hazard like space radiation. That could have a direct effect on their lifespan and that the gist of the 17th conference on space biology and medicine held in Moscow on Monday.

The subject has been given prominence and the report has elaborated on various aspects of radiation risks which are very much relevant. Solar radiation is believed to be responsible for the hostile environment of red planet Mars.