How much worth of radiation will a person receive during a flight to Mars?

A group of scientists from different countries carried out a computer simulation of a human flight to Mars. They estimated how much worth of radiation each organ would receive during the trip. The researchers recommend sending people to this mission who have previously experienced minimal radiation exposure.

Flight to Mars. Source:

Flight to Mars: Human body

During the flight to Mars, which will last 6-7 months, the astronauts will be outside the ozone shield and the Earth’s magnetic field. This raises the fear of the occurrence of numerous diseases associated with the action of solar radiation. A large group of scientists from different countries decided to find out how dangerous such a trip really is.

The study was conducted on a completely perfect computer model of the human body Geant4. It allows assessing the radiation effect not only on the body as a whole, but also on each organ individually. We are talking about the long-term effect of small doses of radiation. The medical experience of mankind in this field is still quite limited.

Scientists put a 600-day flight to Mars and back inside the model, as well as a stay on Mars for 400 days. It should be remembered that the red planet is practically devoid of a magnetic field and atmosphere. From the point of view of radiation safety, it differs little from outer space.

Methods of protection against radiation

In addition, the scientists evaluated the effectiveness of various passive and active radiation countermeasures. In particular, they simulated a situation when people during a trip to Mars are protected by the thick walls of a spacecraft, take medications and follow a certain diet. The model was also tested in a situation that simulates a station on Mars, protected by a layer of regolith or water.

As a result, it was concluded that no matter how effective protective means are, the level of damage to human organs by radiation will still lead to the risk of diseases. The greatest protection from radiation will be provided by staying on the surface of Mars in storage facilities for a combination of water and regolith.

The most reliable way to protect astronauts from radiation sickness, researchers consider minimizing the radiation exposure they receive to it. Thus, the total dose received will be minimal.

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