September 2nd, 2014

Shields up ready for Mars shot Cosmos

It takes a couple of years for a crew of astronauts to sojourn to Mars and back. In that time the team would be exposed to enough radiation to significantly increase the chances of each of them dying of cancer, says Roberto Battiston, Professor of Physics at the University of Trento in Italy. With a crew of five there is a 20% probability that one will die of a cancer caused by radiation damage from the trip, he says.
So Battiston and his colleagues are developing a remedy that sounds like something from the starship Enterprise. It’s called the Space Radiation Superconductive Shield (SR2S). It is effectively a superconducting magnetic energy shield that mimics the protective effect of our planet’s own magnetic field, deflecting cosmic rays away from the crew’s precious cells.

May 29th, 2008

Next stop: Mars Cosmos

What will it take to plant booted feet on Martian soil? And what will it take to keep them there indefinitely? We set our sights on the Red Planet.
The dream of visiting Mars is as old as the fantasies of sci-fi authors Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ray Bradbury, but it took a giant step forward in January 2004, when U.S. President George W. Bush announced America’s intention of returning to the Moon, and using that as a springboard to the Red Planet.
The proposed U.S. program – still in its early design stages – kicks off with a series of robotic missions to the Moon, followed by more manned lunar missions around 2020. It also involves a new spaceship, called Orion, based on a combination of technology derived from the space shuttles and the venerable Saturn V – the booster used 38 years ago to launch Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their historic voyage to the Moon.
That’s the Moon taken care of, but it’s yet to be determined when the U.S. program is due to crank it up a notch and set its sights on Mars.

October 10th, 2007

Self-sufficient space habitat designed Cosmos

Australian-led scientists have designed a new space habitat that might one day allow astronauts on the Moon or Mars to be 90 to 95 per cent self-sufficient.
The development of such as system could save billions of dollars in shuttle trips to re-supply lunar or space colonies and brings closer the vision of a human habitat on Mars.
The technology could also have applications on Earth to develop more sustainable farming techniques and improve recycling processes.