SPACE Division

Radiation Protection for Deep Space Travel

Mars Exploration

Mars is the future. It’s after all NASA’s current overarching goal to send humans to the Red Planet. But even as early as the 1950s, aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun, had published his vision of a mission to Mars in his book The Mars Project. We’ve also heard visions of settling the Red Planet under the leadership of a private organisation before but how feasible are his ideas? Under current scenarios a journey to Mars takes about six months. The crew would therefore be exposed to the effects of long duration space flight where muscle and bone loss occurs under the prolonged exposure to micro-gravity. These effects appear to be largely reversible though. Of more concern is the radiation exposure when the crew leaves Earth’s protective magnetic field. There is currently no shielding technology that would keep the increased cancer risk for the crew below legally accepted limits. And this does not take into account the need to protect astronauts from solar flares, too, in the short term. Prior to establish blueprint for colonies on planets such as Mars, EmTDLab is currently exploring ways to protect astronauts from the radiation. Once plans are evolving we will focus on the strategic planning phase to establish a colony on Mars, most likely with the help of public and private partnerships.