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How you gonna find astronauts that don't mind a little radiation?

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BJC

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How long do you expect the first group of astronauts who launch for Mars to survive?


BJC

edit. That is a serious question.
 

Aerowerx

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Oh, come on now!

Did you read the article carefully? How does that compare with the general population of 60-80 year old US males?

There were only 3 that died of cardiac problems.

Besides, when can anything a news media says be believed, particularly when it comes to science?
 

StarJar

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Maybe once you are 'on' a planet you are safe. . Aerowerks pointed out the smallness of the effects, but the one with cancer could have been a result too. Also, radiation weakens your whole health, not just your heart.
 

Glider

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How long do you expect the first group of astronauts who launch for Mars to survive?
I'm not a doctor...

Mars has no magnetic field, is dead, has no air, and is boring as heck (no plants, animals, or inhabitants).

If the radiation didn't kill an immigrant, I'd imagine that suicide would be the second leading cause of death.

Using the longest someone has lived continuously in a submarine (one that doesn't do a lot of moving around), multiplying by 4, and I'd guess that is the 100% morbidity age.

If a population of >10,000 could be sustained, there might be hope of a society that can live on indefinitely.

But there is still the problems of: no magnetic field to shield from radiation, planet is dead, and has no air. Some argue that a magnetic field is required to prevent the air from being blown away from the planet.
 
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Vigilant1

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The sample size is too small to offer any statistically significant results unless the health impact is truly overwhelming (e.g. if 75% the astronauts died of a malady that strikes only 2% of normal folks).
 

StarJar

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Maybe they should measure the radiation. Well I'm sure they have.
And then like compare it to tests, that I'm sure they've done on rats.
Well they've probably done all that.
Need to hear more. I'm sure we will.
 

Aesquire

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It's equally possible that the magnetic fields OR the break in circadian rhythm led to heart disease. A lot more study need to be done.

What's the stats on Airline pilots? Shot rhythms, high radiation. Meaningful sized study group.

If it's the magnetic field, then the easiest way to do the study would be a Lunar base. Outside Earth's main field, outside the cycles. A useful place to go.

And let's get rational here. Rockets explode, planes crash, ships sink. Period. What's the stats on Astronauts vs. Gold miners?

Don't buy hype. It spoils.
 

Aerowerx

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Consider the source---NBC news. They have to keep everybody in a constant state of anxiety or they would loose what little audience they have, and they are counting on most of their audience not thinking.

Saying that 43% of the astronauts that went to the moon sounds a lot scarier than just saying that 3 died of cardiovascular problems.

Geeze! Why don't they say that ALL the astronauts will, at some time in their lives, suffer from cardiac arrest!;)
 

DangerZone

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I wonder what this will do to the number of people signing up for deep space excursions?

Article
Let's bear in mind that the Moon is still in Earth's orbit. The amount or nature of nasty stuff besides radiation expected in real deep space would be worse.

How to find astronauts for such a suicide mission? Posting an ad on e-bay might find a lot of interested candidates. And I bet none of them would pass the psychological tests. :D
 

Aesquire

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First, I think the article is alarmist.

Second, A lot of thought has already gone into radiation shielding, and we have to learn more.

Third, The Philosophical or Psychological aspects of Pioneers in space, perhaps on one way journeys is interesting.

Who will go? The usual. The folk who ride skateboards, fly hang gliders, write computer programs, and run lathes. All with a need to go out there.
I'm not claiming that number doesn't include a high proportion of adrenaline junkies. Something to do with MOA inhibitors, I suppose.

The first Mars Colony is one thing.

What I don't suggest is being on the first interstellar ship. I think it was Larry Niven who pointed out that you were likely to find someone already at your destination, since later ships will be faster. It's possible that after a centuries long journey you or your offspring would find a fully occupied, industrial civilization with technology that follows Clarke's Law and appears to be Magic. Time travel, the long way around.
 

TFF

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There have been plenty of articles saying NASA is worried about radiation and that Musk's plan is weak on that point. Orion is going froward probably more to have our own launch platform than to go to Mars, even though Mars is the PR story. When the ISS people get radiation warnings, they have to retreat to a storage safe that has enough protection. As for the Apollo astronauts, I bet radiation did increase their heart rate, but I doubt that killed them. Lets see, take a bunch of fighter pilot/ test pilot guys, give them an impossible task that they succeed at and become famous, eat steak and have cigars for every night until 30 years later a doctor says you have stop. Buzz Aldrin has the story of quiting smoking and drinking 3 days before the Moon shot.
 

12notes

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One of those that "died of heart disease" was 82, and actually died from complications while recovering from bypass surgery. Another was 85. The average life expectancy for males in the US is 77. All the living Apollo astronauts are between 80-88 years old. Eventually, some part of your physiology is just going to quit, and they don't put "just old" as a cause of death.

The article might as well have been "Lunar astronauts radiation exposure causes a increased risk of dying in a motorcycle accident". After all, 14% of Apollo astronaut's deaths were caused by a motorcycle accident, but that risk is decreasing, it used to be 100%.
 
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