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Invalid Claims Made for “What Happens to Your Brain on the Way to Mars” Publication

4 May 2015, 22:31 UTC
Invalid Claims Made for “What Happens to Your Brain on the Way to Mars” Publication
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

SPECIAL BULLETINBy Dr. Robert Zubrin, President, The Mars
Society

In a paper entitled “What happens to your
brain on the way to Mars” published on May 2nd in the open-access journal
Science Advances, a group
of radiation researchers claimed that their recent work causing memory loss to
mice by administering very large doses of galactic cosmic ray (GCR)-like high
energy radiation has serious implications for human Mars exploration. According to the authors, similar effects might severely impact astronauts going to the
Red Planet, thereby placing the feasibility of such enterprises in serious
question.

In fact, however, the study has no
relevance for human Mars exploration, as the irradiation doses inflicted on the
researchers’ unfortunate subjects has no relationship to what would be
experienced by astronauts on their way to Mars. The principle difference is
that the rate that the dose was administered to the mice under study was 4
million times faster than that which would be dealt to travelers in
interplanetary space. In addition, the total cumulative dose delivered to the
mice inside of 30 seconds was about 50% greater than the GCR dose that
astronauts would receive over the course of a 2.5 year Mars mission.The ...

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