Travel to deep space a radiation health risk

DEEP space travel poses a risk of cardiovascular disease, US researchers have warned after testing the effect of cosmic radiation on mice.

 “It’s well known that prolonged exposure to radiation sources here on Earth… are associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis,” said Dr Dennis Kucik, from the University of Alabama. 

“But cosmic radiation is very different from x-rays and other radiation found on Earth.”

In the tests, iron ion radiation, common in outer space, was linked to atherosclerosis independent of cholesterol levels.

Spacesuits for deep space travel would need to incorporate appropriate shielding, he said.