Although there has been spectacular hype regarding a billionaires manned trip to Mars, the actual science supports the fact that humans can survive on the red planet.
Curiosity has taken extensive radiation measurements of the planet and the findings look good for a manned mission.
A mission to Mars would consist of a 180-day spaceflight, a 500-day stay (so that Mars and Earth would be in the right position for the return trip) and another 180-day return flight.
The astronauts would be exposed to about 1.01 sieverts of radiation. As you can see from the chart above, that is less than the cumulative radiation that everyone is exposed to over a year.
However, 1-sievert exceeds NASA’s current standards. But those guidelines were drawn up with missions to low-Earth orbit in mind, and adjustments for longer space mission will have to be made for future exploration.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +