Man could get to Mars but might get dementia from radiation on the way!

Scientists may have discovered an insurmountable hurdle in man’s wish to land on the Red Planet – the human condition.

Planet Mars

Planet Mars Image by Paul T. / CC BY 2.0

Our biological make-up could stand between man and Mars as research shows that astronauts could develop irreversible dementia on the long journey. The Daily Telegraph reports that this arises because the human brain would be bombarded by destructive space radiation.

Exposure to the highly energetic charged particles result in brain impairments caused by damage to the central nervous system, according to new research at the University of California.

Professor of radiation oncology in UCI's School of Medicine, Charles Limoli, admitted that their findings were not positive news for a two to three year trip to Mars and back.

He explained that memory deficits, performance diminution and a loss of focus and awareness would adversely affect mission-critical activities. It also appeared that these particles could have long-term consequences to astronauts.

Mars is about 34 million miles away and it would take up to 300 days to get there – leaving those on board exposed for over two years.

In an effort to test the impact, NASA's Space Radiation Laboratory exposed rats to fully ionized oxygen and titanium as a means of simulating space radiation.

Scientists found that the exposure resulted in brain inflammation, which impacted by disrupting the transmission of signals among their neurons.

It was further found that the tested animals didn’t perform as well as they would be expected to in learning and memory tests.

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