Tag Archives: Mars

Salty Water Under the Surface of Mars Could Have Enough Oxygen for Life

Mars may have a hostile, dusty exterior bathed in dangerous radiation, but a new study suggests that it’s possible life could exist under that inhospitable crust. Pockets of salty water with enough dissolved oxygen to support life may be present in certain parts of the planet, according to a new paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Continue reading Salty Water Under the Surface of Mars Could Have Enough Oxygen for Life

Explorers Will Face Dangerous Amounts of Radiation On Their Trip to Mars

Traveling to Mars is the next great step in humanity’s space journey. In Hollywood, the recent movie The Martian and television series The First present reaching the Red Planet as more of a near-term logistics challenge rather than a pie-in-the-sky space dream. NASA is currently orienting itself toward a “Moon to Mars” Mission, but the technical hurdles facing a Mars mission are still massive. One of the most difficult challenges is dealing with the dose of radiation any interplanetary astronauts would face. Meghan Bartels at Space.com reports that new data from the European Space Agency (ESA) has refined our model for radiation during the journey to and from Mars, and it doesn’t look good. Continue reading Explorers Will Face Dangerous Amounts of Radiation On Their Trip to Mars

Mars astronauts at greater risk of cancer than previously thought

You might not want to book that trip to Mars just yet. Researchers have published a study estimating that the risk of cancer from cosmic rays is twice as high as previously thought. They’ve determined that conventional risk models are incomplete. While NASA and other groups believe that radiation-based cancer stems only from direct cell damage and mutations, the new model accounts for the possibility that heavily damaged cells will increase the cancer risk for “bystander” cells. There’s a knock-on effect that would be difficult to escape.

Continue reading Mars astronauts at greater risk of cancer than previously thought