Science » Technologies and discoveries

Is Mars mission healthy?

Members of the Mars mission will be at high risk of developing oncological illnesses, cataracts and neural disturbances. American scientists arrived at such conclusion after examining certain data obtained from Mars Odyssey station. The station has been orbiting Mars for the past two years, reports BBC News.  
One of the most dangerous factors for astronauts' health is radiation. Its level is twice as high as the one on Earth’s orbit. The scheduled flight to Mars will most likely last six times longer than regular missions. According to most current information, the mission will last no less than three years. 
Scientists admit that they are unable to predict exact consequences of radiation on human organism in the course of three years. This situation appears to be even more perplexing, since they have to deal with cosmic radiation. Its effects could vary from those on Earth's surface.
At the same time, scientists are certain that all of the astronauts will return to Earth alive. Researchers plan to build permanent stations on Mars using special materials and taking into account the planet's landscape in order to protect the astronauts. 
Russia, USA, Canada, Japan along with other European countries are working on a first manned flight to Mars. According to Russian scientists, the entire program will be ready by 2005. The actual flight might take place between 2016 and 2020.
In the meantime, Japanese space agency has reported on Tuesday that its first automated mission to Mars has ended ahead of time. "Nozomi" lost its way before reaching the Red planet. Leaders of the program attempted to fix the error. Unfortunately, they were unable to do so, informs Ananova. 

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