Astronauts get older, fasterPosted: April 17, 2008
The ozone layer gets plenty of press for the way it blocks large amounts of ultraviolet radiation from reaching the Earth’s surface, but there are other ‘cosmic rays’ that are stopped as well. High Linear Energy Transfer (High LET) radiation becomes a serious issue once you get out and away from the atmosphere.
According to the work at the Georgetown University Medical Center this High LET radiation seems responsible for increased evidence of aging – defined as advanced cellular damage – amongst astronauts and may also contribute to a higher risk of some kinds of cancer.
This is important research when you consider the dangers that astronauts will face over long space journeys, perhaps like a trip to Mars.