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.
On a mission to Mars, future astronauts will have to leave the protection of Earth’s magnetic field. As they head into deep space, high-energy galactic cosmic rays will pass through the hull of their ship and into their bodies. This might have dangerous—and lasting—consequences for the astronauts’ health.
Mars once featured a vast ocean that covered its northern hemisphere. New evidence suggests this Martian sea experienced at least two “mega-tsunamis” that were triggered by meteor impacts. Traces of these cataclysmic events can still be seen on the Martian surface, and they could still contain traces of ancient life.
Last night, SpaceX released some new information on what it will cost you to sent a satellite into orbit aboard their Falcon 9 or Falcon 9 Heavy rockets, anywhere from $62 to $90 million.
If we want to someday live on Mars, spaceships won’t be enough. We would need a Martian city—and this is how we might build one.
Mars may one day have rings similar to Saturn’s famous halo, new research suggests.