How Dangerous is Deep Space Travel to Mars and Beyond ?

NASA has a mission protocol which says if a low-earth orbit mission increases the life time risk of the crew getting cancer by more than 3% then they won’t go ahead with it but the upcoming Mars missions may expose the crews to levels which will be beyond that limit and two other hazards, so how dangerous is deep space travel to Mars and Beyond. With Ellen musk pushing to get men onto Mars by the mid-2020s and NASA looking to do the same for the 2013 just how much we learned since Apollo and from space stations. 50 years on from the beginning of the Apollo missions and we have yet to send any man back to the moon let alone on the much more arduous journey to our nearest viable planet Mars. Now whilst much of this as being down to the lack of political will in the face of our own man-made problems here on earth it’s also down to be increasing sophistication of robotic probes and Landers that are much cheaper to make launch, can go where no man could go and continue working for years of the time. The Voyager probes for example are still going 40 years after their launch. If we relied upon man discovery only we would know a fraction of what we know now. With data from probes that we have sent around solar system since then we have built up a picture which is far from the vision of just whizzing through interplanetary space that along with the joint NASA-Russian experiment of having been in space for a year on board the International Space Station, we now have a much better understanding of what they may experience from the two-and-a-half year round trip tomorrow. We humans evolved on earth and our bodies are adapted from moving around under the effects of 1g of gravity, take that away and problem start to arise our physiology. We often forget what a sheltered life we all leave here on our little blue dot in the harshness of space. We are protected from 99.9% of harmful radiation not only from the Sun but also from other galactic sources by our atmosphere the Earth’s magnetic field and the Van Allen belt, yes they make a pain for space travel but they do protect us from further radiation on earth. Get beyond the shelter of these and open space is far from empty, it’s teeming with not only radiation from our Sun but also much more powerful radiation from outside our solar system in a form of galactic cosmic rays and gamma rays. Most of the hard data we have about the levels of radiation in deep space comes from the radiation assessment detector instrument which was aboard Mars rover Curiosity, part of the bar science laboratory which was launched in November 2011. The radiation assessment detector was turned on for about 220 out of 253 day journey to Mars and showed that the radiation levels were between 100 and 1000 times higher than that on the earth for an unshielded occupant but it was highly variable and depended a lot on the solar activity at the time. Experiments done on earth with Beam accelerators, computer modeling and confirmation from the cosmic-ray scope on the lunar reconnaissance orbiter as it goes around the moon has shown that plastics with a high hydrogen content are more effective than the same weight of aluminium at stopping particle radiation from both the Sun and galactic cosmic rays and this has been incorporated into the latest spacecraft design like the NASA Orion and the SpaceX Dragon 2. Galactic cosmic rays are protons and nuclei of atoms which have been expelled from supernovas and other violent cosmic events and have been accelerated to near the speed of light. Because of this they have a much greater energy level and can right through space craft and the crew. Shielding helps but it’s a compromise between thickness of the shield the extra weight involved which makes it more difficult then to get into space from Earth. To contend with solar flares, a radiation shelter in the craft where there is extra shielding has been proposed with SpaceX Mars mission. Liquid hydrogen or water storage tanks around the crew areas provide a good shield against particle radiation and creating a strong magnetic shield around the crew areas are all possible but don’t protect well against electromagnetic wave radiation gamma-rays. Using the curiosity data has been calculated that the radiation risk of a return journey to Mars will be about 600 millisieverts equivalent to about 50 full-body CT scans over that period or being on the International Space Station for 4 years straight. This is also about 30 times the yearly allowance for a radiation worker and that doesn’t include stay on Mars itself. A dose of one sievert or 1000 millisieverts is associated with a lifetime increase in fatal cancers by about 5%, which is near the level of the whole mission including stay on Mars. This would be a career limit any of the crew and young women are at a higher risk of cancer from radiation compared to older men so that could affect the crew make up. Along with the cancer risk there’s also be increased chance of developing cataracts as the radiation passes through the eye. Recent research has also suggested that the effects of galactic cosmic rays damaging brain cells at the molecular level could cause brain damage similar to the onset of dementia which could show within the duration of the journey. Away from the radiation risks they’re also physiological effects of microgravity on the human body. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days in space on the International Space Station and even with a tough two-and-a-half-hour exercise regime each day, he still experience problems with circulation, eye sight as well as a loss of bone and muscle mass. Once in space the fluids in the body no longer have gravity to pull them into the lower extremities and are equally distributed around the body. One of the effects of this is to make the back of the eye swell up and alter their shape which effects vision. Stays on the International Space Station of about a week were quickly reversed when back on earth but lasted for much longer after several months in microgravity. On earth the heart pumps blood around the body and the veins in the legs squeeze the blood back to the heart. In space the same amount of blood is being pumped by the heart but there is much less effort required to return it to the body this allows cardio muscular system in the legs to weaken over time again. When returning to a gravity environment this can cause extreme dizziness and fainting due to the lack of blood been returned to the upper body and brain which could occur the when they reach Mars. Within five months of being in a microgravity environment, astronauts can lose up 40% of their muscle mass and 12% of bone mass, this increases the risk of bone fractures when returning to a gravity environment and it’s like turning a 20 year-old into a 60-year-old in just a few months. Psychological issues are also a problem to people in isolated areas for long periods. Some scientists that worked all year round in Antarctica suffer mental health disorder called “Winter Over Syndrome” which is characterized by symptoms such as depression, irritability, aggressive behavior, insomnia and memory problems all the sort of things you don’t want to happen when trying to perform mission critical tasks in space or on Mars. Humans traveling in open space is always going to be a risky business and in the end some say the risk is worth the reward of getting men to Mars and they can do much more than a robot in a short space of time and they are much better at handling unexpected situations. But dead or dying crew is something no one wants to see beamed back to earth so it’s in all our interests to make sure the risks are minimized as much as possible. It will be over 50 years since the last Apollo flight by the time the earliest Mars missions come around, so even just take a little bit longer than expected, it won’t make that much difference to make sure that we get it right. What do you think of the Mars mission and the risk of traveling in deep space? let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe rate and share and also check out some of our other videos you may find interesting. So thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.

100 Replies to “How Dangerous is Deep Space Travel to Mars and Beyond ?

  1. The biggest problem with going to mars is building the infrastructure to support human life…before any humans make their first landing. They cannot carry enough food and water beyond the trip itself. Where will they stay once they land. There are so many things that won’t be there. Remember this is not a two day stay like going to the moon. Where will the construction materials come from. We can’t ship those things. We are decades away from being able to send humans to mars. Not going to happen in the 2020’s or 2030’s. Maybe (big maybe) by 2050’s. Who’s going to do the building. No humans. That means all robots. In short, we are sooooooo far away from being ready to send humans to mars. The ONLY reason NASA is talking about the 2030’s is to keep the money flowing in. They KNOW full well that date is unrealistic but if they tell congress it’ll really be 50+ years, who in their right mind will fund that kind of a long range project. There is no ROI (return on investment) from a mars project.

  2. 600 mSv or 60 rem is 12 times annual allowed dose for a nuclear energy worker. I am surprised to hear that the astronauts on ISS get 3 times that.

  3. Anyone heard anything again about that company wanting to send one way manned trips to Mars? They wanted to have a base on Mars in 2024 or something??




    " O company of jinn and men,if ye have power to penetrate (all) regions of the heavens and the earth,then penetrate (them)!

    Ye will never penetrate them save with (Our) sanction".

    سورہ الملک
    The Sovereignty

    تبارک الذی بیدہ الملک , و ھو علی کل شئ قدیر الذی خلق سبع سموات طباقا , ما تری فی خلق الرحمن من تفوت , فارجع البصر ھل تری من فتور . ثم ارجع البصر کرتین ینقلب الیک البصر خاسئا و ھو حسیر .
    Blessed is He in Whose hands is Dominion; and He over all things hath Power;-
    He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving;-
    He Who created the seven heavens one above another: No want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (Allah) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw?
    Again turn thy vision a second time: (thy) vision will come back to thee dull and discomfited, in a state worn out.
    And we have, (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with Lamps, and We have made such (Lamps) (as) missiles to drive away the Evil Ones, and have prepared for them the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.
    For those who reject their Lord (and Cherisher) is the Penalty of Hell: and evil is (such), Destination.

    We are asked to observe, study and research the cosmos again and again, and as minutely as our powers will allow. However closely we observe the cosmos
    we shall find no flaw in creation of Almighty Allah.

    The universe is so vast and stretches so far beyond our ken,that our eyes aided with most powerful telescopes will confess themselves defeated in trying to penetrate to the ultimate6 mystries.

    We shall find no defect in Allah's handiwork: it is our own powers that we shall find fail to go beyond a certain compass.

  5. You said the weight of a spaceship fully shielded may be too heavy to launch from the earth, however, a pre-fabricated spaceship with FULL shielding could be assembled on the moon and have the mission start from the moon! Less gravity equals greater payload, equals greater shielding with more powerful (bigger?) engines. We should not limit ourselves with just an earthbound start to the mission. So, the first thing to do is to make a base on the moon, bring all the materials there and even bring the moon into play by constructing UNDERGROUND mission complexes. You really got me thinking about this. BUT, we start with the moon first. That is our first objective OR we assemble the rocketship in earth orbit. Faster up and down, faster material sent, tested, and replaced. Want to go home? Space sick? ok…no problem. HMMMM now you really got me going. We have all seen the booster rockets fall away. What if we sent a fully shielded nose cone into space followed by the next fully shielded section and do a space-docking of all the parts?????? I want to be a NASA engineer. I know nothing about engineering but I know what I like and what I want!!!!!

  6. I do not agree with the idea of going to mars at all too dangerous and expensive there were only 6 moon missions 50 years later we are not even close to allowing civilians in space the NASA program is a joke even navy seals and highly trained military personnel can't go but if it were more open to the public NASA would pay for itself without taxpayer money if the moon missions continued NASA would have evolved to where by now civilians would be going to the moon it would be a national park it's gonna be 100 years by the time we figure out the mars riddle and send somebody up there they probably won't make it there or back alive it will take at least 3 years and it gets worse from there don't go

  7. Much fantasy here! Phew… When tech for rotating centrifugal force dynamic gravity gets to space, you are still a hundred years from a ship using that tech capable of a Mars intercept… and a hundred years of trial and fail before it gets done right!

  8. A mission to Mars will involve so much AI and robotics, humans will be an extraneous burden. The human error factor achieved at Chernobyl is one you don't want in space…

  9. Phil was it? I first want to say Thank You for your obvious love of science and all things outside our atmosphere, which is obviously apparent by the content and quality of your videos. I have only recently rediscovered my interest in all of the science topics that amazed me as a child growing up in the '70s and it's nice to see just how long we've come and where we're going.

    Now don't get me wrong, as much as I am for sending astronauts to the Moon with the upcoming Artemis Missions, there are a few items pertaining to us traveling to Mars and beyond I have thoughts on so please bear with me and I apologize in advance should I start to ramble on and for the length of this post but I would rather get all of my thoughts out there so we all can discuss them.

    With those thinking that we must travel across the stars to be a multi-planetary species to survive, that thought fuels my thinking and the following points;

    Exactly who will be leaving the planet should we actually manage to design, build, test, re-test crafts possible of reaching said destinations, I can foresee those at the top of the Monetary Ladder and those Well-To-Do others with either the connections, money or privilege to land a seat on the interplanetary space arc. I would actually hate to even think of the math to come up with just how many spaceships, not to mention the dollars, to move that many people off the Earth.

    We evolved living on this planet due to all of the factors making it possible as I'm not going to get into all of that Earth Science, but my point is what if we weren't meant to live outside or off of Earth? You cited studies of astronauts in space having issues from the Solar Radiation, issues with their eyes, skeletal bone mass, muscle mass and all of the other data out there.

    We cannot even take care of ourselves, and hardly even others so how can we expect those in space to do it there? We know the rigorous training that NASA Astronauts go through before they can head out to the ISS, With all of that training in mind, not even including the money it takes to shoot one person into space, let alone a hundred at a clip, the Logistics are off the charts and isn't even realistic. It is just another thing that sounds good to hear or looks good on paper but once you put some thought into it obviously seems like it will never see the light of day, at least not at the scale that some of these people would like.

    I think that NASA and the other international partners should just focus on building and sending Autonomous Rovers, Science Equipment, and any other hardware that would help us here on Earth so that we can work on taking care of each other because if we cannot do it here, we certainly aren't going to be able to do it on another planet.

    Until someone actually develops a useable Warp Drive or LightSpeed, we should just focus on building a presence on the moon before we think about traveling out any farther. What is the sense of dumping trillions of dollars into thinking we can live on Mars? With what we know about Mars with its temperature, atmosphere, and gravity, would you want to live bottled up like that? As exciting as it does sound, I think I'll pass. There are far too many things of wonder on this planet I have yet to discover and see with my own senses, so I'll just focus on those to start.

    I commend and thank all of the past, present and future astronauts for all of their hard work, not to mention all of the workers in the background who make all of the science work when needed, for without you there would be no science.

    Thanks again for your amazing and professionally presented videos as I really enjoy watching and learning from them, Keep them coming.

    I encourage feedback and discussion as this helps all of us either learn, obtain extra data/information, stay informed and express other views/points of view.

    I hope that everyone is having a great week and God Bless All of You.

    My Three Cents,

    #NASA #MissionToMars #SpaceX #Spaceflight #OuterSpace #ElonMusk #CuriousDroid #NASAArtemis #ArtemisMission

  10. Cant they create gravitiy with rotation? Then at least the last part of this video would not be a problem.

  11. We have to proof the world that deep space travel to Mars & beyond would still be done by humans !

  12. I hope there will be a concerted competitive drive to achieve 1- fusion energy

    2- allowing robotics based exploration first obviating need to take costly protective measures on humans. Human exploration is the final goal but why not use cheaper lighter and more adaptable robotics to build the road first ?

    3- while at same time massively increasing our antennae and telescopic eavesdropping on the galaxy and beyond

    Advertising our existence et is beyond reckless

  13. That's it you just talked me out of any space travel no matter how bad it gets in earth. Good luck to those who choose to do it.

  14. I like the content of your videos. Back to the question you made, I think exploring is interesting but don't see the point on sending people to other planets. The way I see it, it's taking a lot of time to get the right wait to do it as if, the so much feared time for the possible catastrophic event, could be picked by those planning the mission. I know I'm not the only one to come to this but there are so many people in need on this well known planet that I think that money would be better spent helping them.

  15. Anyone who believes man can go anywhere outside our own atmosphere (space) the space shuttle, space station or the moon is just plain "STUPID" Get yourself back in school to learn why man is stuck here on planet Earth. You will learn why we can go nowhere outside our atmosphere and you will kick yourself for ever believing all the lies about "FAKE SPACE"

  16. Mars is inhospitable, Pretty much have to take all air water food shelter medical fuel/heat for Years, 2 years there and back, and then earth only back in range for return flight every 8 months. Mars is colder with less air and less air pressure than the mountains that kill the hikers. Mars is 1000 times drier than earths driest desert. So cold it snows dry ice. That is even if you can get past the radiation on the way there. Someone did some math on the radiation shielding a spaceship would need and it was huge they were using like a water lined jacket. You could make some kind of slime that even if impacted would stay mostly intact.

  17. What if one of the crew gets claustrophobia on the trip? What if he or she freaks out and has to be restrained? What would the protocols be for such a situation? Due to the costs of space travel, I can't believe the ships would be very big.

  18. Shouldn’t the next step to take b4 going to Mars be solar orbit. Plus they could multiply the orbits up to the duration of a mars mission?

  19. So they wanna go where they can't stay. To do what robots have already done. While risking life in the process, only to turn few good man into permanently disabled people. If they even survive. Hmm… I think going to Mars is beyond stupid.

  20. Hey- What about the danger of responding to an alien's craft's distress signal, only to find it has been infested with other aliens that implant an egg in your torso that will rip itself out of your chest after it's gestation period? That's what really scares the hell out of me!

  21. I think we’re trying to go to mars too fast without solving those problems. Need to solve the radiation issue, artificial gravity, cabin fever, safely land and lift off from mars.

    We need to go back to the moon. While solving those problems. If we can solve all those going to the moon then we can try mars.

  22. From what u described, seems a suicide mission, would u want to go?? Most definitely i would not, interesting adventure though, cheers …

  23. Earth Elevator to Captured Solid Mass Asteroids (Human Galactic Light House Planets – Total # 100) to bore out artificial gravity cylinders large enough to support a population of 50,000.

    Until Magnetic/Electric Force Shields are developed solid Mass of Captured Asteroid with reduce Radiation Risk!

    First 100 'Human Light House Planets' would be positioned across the Solar System providing beacons to exploring settlement space crafts while at the same time providing maintenance & medical care support.

    We do more than just Mars we build FIRST an infrastructure to make millions of Mars possible!

  24. How long did Neil Armstrong live? Exposure to radiation was known back in the 1950s yet some how we made it to the moon? How long did Buzz Aldrin live?

  25. To reference Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park…"must go faster".. nuclear propulsion proposed 90 day trip to Mars…less life support requirement, less weight… bigger departure window… we have the technology… we just lack the direction

  26. We need another system for deep space travel. Robotics is the way to go for the foreseeable future and combined with virtual reality it is a hard act to follow.

  27. NASA said in 2017 that we live in an enclosed environment ( dome over our heads ) and we can not fly above low earth orbit. Space is a vacuum with no air for the rockets to push off from to move forward. So….. the mission to Mars is another SCAM just like landing on the Moon which we did not do. Keep in mind, NASA is run by the U.S. military to take money from the tax payer to fund their black operations. Do you remember the space craft that blew up with the teacher inside ? Well, all but one( The BLACK guy ) of those astro-nots have been found alive and well with beautiful homes and jobs. The speaker in this video in my opinion is another NASA scam artist.

  28. That humans can do more in a minute than a robot can in hours is just a temporary thing. And the cost of sending humans, both financially and physically to deep space for any length of time is prohibitive. Robots are the way to go for the foreseeable future. At least until they can build the structures needed for humans to survive in the environment. We will lose a crew or two doing it the fast way there. Is this responsible?

  29. I don't need to go into space to find out about it. I have a telescope, and a meteorite collection. I also have subscriptions to Sky & Telescope, and Astronomy magazines. And Droid here, well he's scary, but informative.

  30. So why dont they use the same sheilding they used when sending men to the moon? Ig thats because man never went to the moon.

  31. i think whenever you go there is a risk, in e every day life we don't know how actually might happen. we could never tell what future apon us. so if it worth it then we to take responsibility for it.

  32. It would be a zillion times easier to make the Sahara Desert on Earth habitable (which wouldn't be easy yet alone even thought to be feasible) than it ever would be to make Mars habitable.
    Honestly, Populating Mars is a dream that will never become reality but people sure will fantasize and obsess and even demand that we fund trillions of tax dollars trying!

    I'm sure I'm going to get a bunch of angry replies but as much as I have always liked Sci-Fi, mankind isn't ever going to leave Earth by their own doing.

  33. Mars is too premature. The moon is a better goal. Both environments are hostile, but Mars is too far away for our current travel speeds.

  34. Literally hundreds of thousands of people dying every single day from easily preventable things. Commenters are afraid for a handful of people that might have a slight increase in the likelihood to develop cancer. Who gives a shit, let's go to mars right now! It's not like any of us have to go, fortunately there is a ton of people who is a lot braver than any of us and sees the value in going. Fortunately the decision to send people is not in any of our hands.

  35. Have you heard of Mars Direct which would include artificial gravity using a very long tether to connect the Hab module with the burned out final stage and rotating the spacecraft/booster around the center of the tether and thus creating Mars or Earth level artificial gravity?

  36. I like the idea of improving technology,
    I don't like the idea of living on mar's, having mar's forces destroy human DNA. (ISS 1 year man in space proves it)
    We are Finite being's belonging to earth. There is no escape only improvement or fail.
    I do wounder when people will wake up…. Only way i see it happening is if…
    Maybe if there was a space station above mar's or even a room on mars, that mimic'ed earths gravity, magneto field, and other natural forces, a person could in theory exercise their DNA by being exposed to earth's natural like forces and helping to preventing or slowing down genetic damage due to the natural differential forces of Mars and other forces.
    We must take care of people, they are not cannon fodder to our ignorance, when we already know the possible outcome, we have a'lot more preparing and learning to do, like mastering space stations to mimic earths forces in order to protect man in space, something that would have a'lot more use than living on a dead world, slowly melting away. We must not skip to end game without understanding the consequences.
    For the time being it would be way smarter and humane to simply send drones or robots to do work for us on Mars.
    Over time with the limitations of our robotics of today will inspire those of tomorrow to improve on it,
    We humans must simply be patient less we needlessly endanger the lives of our fellow people because of a ill thought excitement of emotion for exploration that we should of controlled.
    I don't mean to be negative Nancy but i've been saying this for years, and people really need to consider every move and the moves we fail to see before we leap to action.
    -Dodo Bird Theory

  37. Go to Mars, put a flag. Proceeds 50years without any more missions or permanent bases on Mars… I think we should go to the moon, make permanent bases there, perfect technology and live for a few years on the moon. Then confidently go to Mars.

  38. I was largely onboard with Carl Sagan’s dream of beginning the necessary leg work of giving the descendants of our species a run at surviving the death of Sol. But I am starting to think that our ability to survive driven by the evolution forged characteristics of this world is much more a permanent reality than many of us may be willing to accept.

    I think these days I’m more on the side of doubling down on AI and robots to explore our solar system and working out a way for a single generation to witness the launch of a vehicle bound for Alpha Centauri and returned images of that first flyby.

    In our solar system, go 100% towards missions like Dragon Fly to Titan, capable craft to Enceladus and Europa. The Venusian atmosphere.
    Let’s get after our hunt for other life.
    Like Uncle Bill says, once we find life, it will change everyone’s idea of what it means to be a living thing in the cosmos.
    I think our species is in an urgent need of a kick to the ego.

  39. About 50 years ago Apollo 11 crew must have exposd to …All the dangers explained about space radiation to dangerous for human body
    Q. were we better 50 years ago to shield appolo 11 crew and now smehow we are not ???

  40. It was mentioned in the video the Voyager probes were still operational 40 years after launch. Are they still transmitting data about that part of our solar system?

  41. Stability n shuttles travel n time that's wats fuels light n energy's n land that's safety n security not concern s n wonders of insecurity n air n gravity all elements universe see

  42. I think a centrifuge as in "2001" that creates artificial gravity would be a must for deep space travel. It would seem that such a craft may have to be launched piecemeal and assembled in Earth orbit. Include the protections needed for the various forms of radiation and we might be able to make space missions more often. Personally, I think it's imperative to put more resources into space travel to the point that it's as easy as crossing the street, because at some point our resources on Earth will run out. So, we need to think about the idea of a new home planet now. And not wait until it's too late.

  43. It's not going to happen and it shouldn't.its a dead rock and anyone going there will die on the way,in the landing, or the take off back to earth, or come back a cancer riddled, blind insane wreck who can't walk.

  44. Wy we shoud destroy our planet and live in moon or mars we make atom bombs to destroy Erth. Earth is our home we should save it and make el cars ships and airoplanes el trains and el fabrics and save the tree's stop to use oils and gass

  45. Humans will be going nowhere . Not now , not ever . Radiation 100 more than on earth . Shielding required would be too heavy . Assessment now will reveal future missions are too dangerous for man on the moon . Begs the question , did we go in the 1960 s ? Dont think so .

  46. We need to concentrate on ourselves, and new physics of course. The soul will be able to travel without the body, in a sort of spacecraft. All the rest, except robots, are nonsense. They only fool the people to get funds, like the so called man on the Moon in the 70 is. I going to be another 50 years or so, for a man to land on the Moon!

  47. I do not understand why several rockets couldn't take what ever extra heavy shielding against comic rays and the extra fuel needed to get to Mars and construct them onto the Mars vehicle once in orbit on a staging platform or the space station? Is there a way to create artificial gravity while in transit? Say spinning the craft like a fair ride as it travels forward?

  48. We need antigrav for better power to weight ratio with the energy endurance to haul all that shielding garbage along, while providing for a constant ship acceleration of 32 ft/sec during the journey to provide gravity for the crew through the floor decks. Pursuing manned flight into deep space with rocket tech, sorry, no bueno……..

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