A representative image of Mars Photograph:( Reuters )
Space is surely a visual treat. But invisible dangers lurk around
Space is a wonderful mystery! It has glamour that mesmerises our minds. Rockets lifting off, probes examining planets in our solar system, even going beyond the boundary of it is something that enthralls us.
For a layman, space travel is just about sitting in a spaceship and travelling through the void witnessing colourful wonders of the universe. But for a scientist involved in a mission, it is a result of precise work that involves many factors. Main impediment to human space travel is intense space radiation. Once we leave the protective shell of Earth we are exposed to these cosmic rays which are deadly. Human spaceflight therefore involves consideration of this major factor. Even a manned mission to Mars is tricky because it involves years of space travel for a roundtrip.
But now a study has said that an astronaut's journey to Mars is safe even when the spaceship is being bombarded with lethal cosmic rays during the journey.
However, certain conditions have to be fulfilled in order to make the journey safe for the astronaut.
An international team of space scientists including researchers from UCLA carried out the study.
The scientists have said that the protective shielding must be of sufficient thickness and a round trip to Mars must be shorter than approximately four years. Average flight to Mars takes about nine months. So the window advised by the scientists is sufficient.
Moreover, the timing of the manned mission to Mars would be important as well. Scientists have suggested that the mission should be undertaken when the solar activity is at its peak. This is known as solar maximum.
Well, the heightened solar activity deflects the most lethal cosmic rays.
Move over Neil Armstrong, the race to be the first human on Mars is on!