More than anything else, researchers have come up with additional hazard to astronaut’s life. The space junks, asteroids suddenly popping up, spaceship damage or maybe even malevolent aliens can be counted as threats to the life of our space travelers.
However there’s one more addition, more passive but may be just as hazardous as the others. It’s the ever present cosmic rays. Experts say that that incessant exposure to these rays which satiate the entire universe may lead to dementia type of brain damage.
Any trip to Mars in the future may affect the astronauts or anybody who ventures there which is expected to last for at least a couple of years.
NASA came up with a study in this regards using mice. The mice were exposed to strong concentration of energy particles akin to those of galactic cosmic rays. The result showed a diminished cognition ability with the brain showing structural changes. The nerve cells displayed some damaged in the synapses which is where nerve impulses are received.
The irradiated components of galactic cosmic rays, the residues of exploding supernovas, can penetrate the walls of the spaceships easily and can affect the astronaut’s brain and the passengers as well. We, on earth, are spared by the effect of these cosmic rays due to protective the presence of the magnetosphere
Dr. Charles Limoli, a professor of oncology in University of California said, “ without a doubt” we humans would experience the same conditions as the mice.
“Astronauts may suffer cognitive problems while on a mission that result to performance decrements, confusion, increased anxiety and longer-term problems with cognitive health,” said Dr Limoli, whose study appears in the journal ScienceAdvances.
“This could compromise mission-critical activities, especially if unanticipated situations arise during deep spaceflight,” Dr Limoli continued.
For complete information read the source: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/a-space-odyssey-cosmic-rays-may-damage-the-brains-of-astronauts-20150502-1mydlp.html