NASA – A study has revealed that the brains of the astronauts can be damaged during their interplanetary voyage by the deep radiations from the space. The damage can make the astronauts confused, slow and forgetful and may affect their ability to react on time. The damage leaves the astronauts incapable of reacting fast to a strange and unexpected situation.
This new revelation has unsettled the scientists who are now planning to develop a manned mission to Mars.
The radiation in deep space is composed of high-energy protons, gamma rays and the cosmic rays that come from exploding stars and the newborn black holes. We are protected from the damage due to radiation by the bulk of the earth, magnetic field blocks, atmosphere and the deflections caused by the most deep-space cosmic rays.
Interplanetary Voyage Causes Damage to Brain
Scientists have suggested that shielding the spacecraft will help greatly in reducing the extent of damage to the brain of the astronauts. In the past 54 years of human spaceflight experience, the astronauts have never been exposed to the full dose of deep space radiations. But when they will be on the interplanetary voyage, such damages can be expected as there won’t be any protective shield in the space.
Once when the Apollo crew was farthest from the protective shield of the Earth during its journey to the Moon, the astronauts reported having seen light flashes with closed eyes. The scientists said such experiences are rare and occur when the galactic cosmic rays speedily enter through the retinas even with the closed eyelids.
The team at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Nevada conducted the study. Funded by NASA, the reports of the study were published in the Science Advances. Dr.Charles Limoli, a professor at the Oncology department of radiation at the University of California, has said that due to the continuous bombardment of the deep cosmic rays, the brain can lose its ability to make a decision.
In due course of time, it can also affect the memory.