Mars landing would increase the risk of DNA damage of astronauts

Participant of Mars-500 experiment

Russian scientists have reported that landing on Mars would increase the astronauts’ exposure levels to radiations that could cause DNA damage among other health risks.

[hana-code-insert name='StumbleUpon' /][hana-code-insert name='Reddit' /]“According to our estimates, researchers on the surface of Mars can expect a number of adverse factors, such as cardiac arrhythmia, reduced stability and performance, sensory impairments, as well as more long-term consequences in the form of changes at the DNA level, and demineralization of bone tissue,” said Anatoly Grigoryev, the deputy head of Russia’s Academy of Sciences.

He was commenting at a presentation on the results of the Mars-500 experiment i.e. a ground based simulation of a mission to Mars. According to RIA Novosti, the Moscow-based Mars-500 experiment was completed on November 4.

The six volunteers – researcher Alexander Smoleyevsky, flight engineer Roman Charles, crew commander Alexei Sitev, medical doctor Sukhrob Kamolov, and researchers Diego Urbina and Wang Yueh – were separated from the outside world in a specifically designed model simulating a spaceship.

Grigoryev said that the astronauts would also face certain adverse psycho-physiological conditions such as hypokinesia – reduced motor activity – monotony and frustration while on Mars.

Grigoryev said, “I think [a manned trip to Mars] will take place in the first half of the current century,”