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Traveling to mars

Rubikx
Posts: 226
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8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,597
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8/31/2015 5:44:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?

I think scientists are more concerned with HZE particles; iron being blown off by exploding stars moving a very high speeds that would sail right through a spacecraft and the magnetic field.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
JMcKinley
Posts: 314
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8/31/2015 7:24:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?

I'm not an expert on the interactions between magnetic fields and radiation. But I have a few ideas of why that idea might not be feasible. Take this all with a grain of salt. I do have a background in engineering but this is not my area of expertise.

First and foremost in my mind is that magnetic fields can interfere with electronic devices in a very negative way. Generating a strong magnetic field for radiation protection could compromise other vital electronic systems.

Second, the earth's magnetic field, while relatively weak, is very large. And it doesn't stop radiation so much as it deflects it. Its radius is large enough that a small deflection can make a large difference in the trajectory of the radiation by the time it would have come into contact with earth.

Those are the two main things that stick out in my mind as being obstacles to what you described. I don't know how difficult those obstacles would be to overcome, but from the apparent lack of a solution I would guess tat it is significant.
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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8/31/2015 7:56:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?

No, you are not totally wrong. In fact, you are totally right :) The use of magnetic fields in the so called "spacecraft shielding" has been under research for some years by now. Scientists working on this are trying to find a way of designing mechanisms that produce powerful magnetic fields capable of deflecting harmful particles, but not so much to damage the crew. To reconcile these two aspects has proven to be a big challenge, but the concept is, at the very least, very witty and elegant. So nice guess!
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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9/1/2015 12:23:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation.
Definitely. Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) radiation comprises high-speed protons, helium ions, and (as Danne pointed out above), ions of heavier elements like silicon and iron -- called 'HZE' radiation because it has high mass and high charge. Much of it comes from outside our solar-system. Some of it is thought to have been flung out by exploding stars, and some may come from active galactic nucleii (e.g. the accretion disks around big black holes), but the sun generates some of it too, and you see more of it as you get closer. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

Traveling at near light-speed, GCR disrupts chemical bonds, which are what keep your cells intact and hold your DNA together, and this effect gets worse the more heavily charged the radiation is, while the heavier and faster it is, the thicker the shielding needs to be to keep it out. Moreover, it can also damage the atoms in the space-craft, creating secondary radiation, so that you're stuck traveling in an increasingly radioactive spacecraft. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

So how bad is it?

A return trip to Mars might take 2.7 years, and expose astronauts to a total radiation of about 2.26 sieverts (Sv.) For comparison, 0.008 Sv is about a six month stay on the International Space Station 400km above the surface. The reason it's so much less is that the earth itself blocks about a third of GCR, while its magnetic field blocks another third.

Meanwhile, 1Sv is the maximum allowed radiation exposure for NASA astronauts over their whole career. So 2.26Sv is estimated to give about one in ten young astronauts cancer some time in their lives (about one in six for women), increases the risk of cataracts, and for colonists, would be enough to give 1% of their kids genetic defects. So without better shielding, humans might be able to get to Mars or Venus, but not to Jupiter or Saturn. [https://www.newscientist.com...]

According to aeronautical engineers, there aren't too many options. You can use thick, massive shielding on HZE, but it's expensive to accelerate, and produces too much secondary radiation anyway. So some sort of electromagnetic shielding is probably the only shielding option. They've looked into superconductors and plasma shielding on the craft itself, but also 'deployed' shielding that sits away from the craft, and has the advantage of keeping a strong EM field away from the passengers too, since they aren't very good for us either. [https://engineering.dartmouth.edu...]

Deployed shielding sounds like a good idea. There are papers on it and other options at [https://engineering.dartmouth.edu...], but I wonder whether our genetic bioengineering won't outstrip our aeronautical engineering before we actually launch a manned flight to Mars.

If our genetic and biomedical technologies get good enough, we might be able to repair significant cellular radiation damage as it occurs. That might give us the option of living with more GCR exposure, and increase both our aeronautical engineering options, and the interplanetary distances humans can safely travel.

Some combination of deployed shields and biomedical technology might see us landing on Titan (say) glowing, but alive. :D
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,597
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9/1/2015 3:50:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?

One of the most interesting ideas I've read about is "catching" a mineral rich asteroid and maneuvering it into orbit around the Earth, then proceed to mine the minerals from the inside out, thus creating a hollow asteroid with just enough of a crust to protect humans inside. The asteroid is then used as a spaceship. Bizarre, but for the most part, practical.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,205
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9/2/2015 12:16:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 3:50:25 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?

One of the most interesting ideas I've read about is "catching" a mineral rich asteroid and maneuvering it into orbit around the Earth, then proceed to mine the minerals from the inside out, thus creating a hollow asteroid with just enough of a crust to protect humans inside. The asteroid is then used as a spaceship. Bizarre, but for the most part, practical.

... in the WarHammer 40K universe, the Orks used these things called "Roks" which are exactly that to a T.

Sorry, it just tickled me that best inception we have for space travel is what the dumbest race in a Sci Fi setting does.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,597
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9/2/2015 3:07:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/2/2015 12:16:24 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 9/1/2015 3:50:25 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?

One of the most interesting ideas I've read about is "catching" a mineral rich asteroid and maneuvering it into orbit around the Earth, then proceed to mine the minerals from the inside out, thus creating a hollow asteroid with just enough of a crust to protect humans inside. The asteroid is then used as a spaceship. Bizarre, but for the most part, practical.

... in the WarHammer 40K universe, the Orks used these things called "Roks" which are exactly that to a T.

Sorry, it just tickled me that best inception we have for space travel is what the dumbest race in a Sci Fi setting does.

LOL. That's a good one.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
dee-em
Posts: 6,447
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9/3/2015 12:51:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?

It doesn't bode well for a permanent colony on Mars since it doesn't have a significant magnetic field. So you get fried going to and from and you get fried while you are there too.
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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9/3/2015 4:51:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/31/2015 3:05:49 AM, Rubikx wrote:
Ok so i've heard that one of the problems with going to mars is that the astronauts would be exposed to tonnes of radiation. I've also heard that the earth is is protected from this radiation by its magnetic field. So I was wondering if just surrounding a ship with a large magnetic field would protect it from that radiation. Is this at all possible or am I totally wrong?

That's not the only problem that is going to hinder us from going to Mars. It is but one out of many. For my money, I don't think we will ever send men there, as just about everything we need to know from that planet--we already know quite a bit--can be done via robotics and drone craft.

Here is a list of Big Problems for Going to Da Red Planet! LOL.

http://listverse.com...
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.