Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Astronauts could live inside ice domes on Mars

RATE THIS! +22
Posted in Science on 7th Jan, 2017 03:22 PM by AlexMuller

The sun and other stars in the Milky Way produce high-energy particles that damage human bodies. Solar particles are mostly protons with low enough energy to be absorbed by basic physical structures. Galactic cosmic are one of the most dangerous long-term threats to astronaut health.

 

The small fraction of galactic cosmic rays that aren’t protons are heavy chemical elements moving at close to the speed of light. When they collide with a spacecraft, they break apart the atoms inside that material to produce showers of secondary radiation inside the craft.

 

The astronauts who will someday go to Mars will be bombarded by radiation from space. The Apollo astronauts who landed on the moon, the only people to travel outside of the Earth’s radiation-protective layer, got higher than normal exposure to radiation while on the surface. They weren’t outside for very long, so the effects were limited. It’s possible that those seven men had an increased risk for cardiovascular disease because of it, but that’s basically it.
 
Long-term exposure could be much worse. All that secondary radiation spells out cell and DNA damage, which means a higher risk for cancer and other diseases later in life. Acute radiation sickness could be a shorter term problem, high doses of radiation causes nausea, vomiting, and bleeding. So our future Mars explorers will need some kind of shield to protect them.
 
Ice is an unexpectedly excellent solution to this problem. Water has two atoms of hydrogen in every molecule, and hydrogen is particularly adept at blocking radiation. It only takes five centimeters (somewhere between the diameter of an Oreo and a soda can) to bring gamma and ultra-violet rays down to safe levels.
 
So teams at NASA’s Langley Research Center worked with Space Exploration Architecture and Clouds Architecture Office to devise a way to use ice as a shield. They came up with giant ice bubbles.
 
The Mars Ice Home is essentially an inflatable dome that can be filled with water, which will then freeze in the cold Martian air. That thick outer layer of ice would protect the interior from radiation, while a smaller dome inside would provide the actual living quarters. Since the outer dome is inflatable, and therefore compact and lightweight for the journey to the Red Planet, it can also be large. Living quarters don’t need to be gigantic, so the extra space inside the ice dome could act as an icy yard.
 
Astronauts could service equipment in the yard without having to wear pressurized suits, for example, since they’d just need an oxygen mask to breathe. The Clouds Architecture Office pitches it as “an undefined open space for contemplation, relaxation, exercise, game play or anything the crew decides to do” in its original proposal. So perhaps someday we’ll be treated to pictures of contemplative astronauts playing low-gravity soccer in their ice yards.
 
The Ice Home also solves a couple other potential issues with Martian habitats. One of the biggest: how to get building materials to Mars. Right now it costs two to three thousand dollars to launch one pound of material into orbit, let alone all the way to another planet. The inflatable Ice Home uses lightweight materials and can be filled upon arrival. NASA thinks it could extract enough water from the Martian surface to fill the entire dome. But it would take an estimated 400 days, so some kind of automated assembly would have to take place before any astronauts arrived. Once they did, they’d be greeted by a fully-filled home. A layer of carbon dioxide trapped inside the dome could also provide insulation against the cold Martian climate.

Tags: MarsspacehealthradiationiceNASA

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-04-23 16:03:05
    Google's universal quantum computer could become world's.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-04-23 15:51:27
    Anti-dementia drugs will soon start clinical trials..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-04-23 15:47:18
    Robots can handle a third of our workplace tasks, study.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-04-22 15:31:01
    Proposed Mission to find life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus..read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-04-22 14:32:54
    Global plan to wipe out hepatitis..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Intensive medical treatment can reverse type 2 diabetes..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Daily consumption of tea protects the elderly from cognitive.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New analysis method of metabolites accurately predicts whether.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Unproven stem cell 'therapy' blinds three patients at Florida.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Indigenous South American group has healthiest arteries of all.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me