For a long time, it has been considered that space radiation has a negative impact on the health of astronauts. This belief came after many astronauts die, either from cancer or heart diseases. A recent study examined the data of 418 astronauts – 301 astronauts from the National Aeronautics and Space Agency and 117 Russian or Soviet astronauts, on an average period of 25 years. All of them have gone into space at least once since 1959.
The results were conclusive. In the 25 year period, 89 of those studied died – 53 from NASA and 36 Russian or Soviets. Out of the 53 NASA cosmonauts, 30% died from cancer and 15% from heart conditions. Out of the 36 Russian or Soviet astronauts, 28% from cancer and 50% died from heart conditions.
Therefore, it is quite understandable why there was so much concern with space radiation and travels into space. The analysts came up with an interesting analytical procedure to find out if the deaths by cause of cancer and heart disorders had been caused by cosmic rays.
Space Radiation Does Not Affect Astronauts Health
The outcome brought to light the fact that cosmic radiation was not the cause of the deaths. The radiation might affect the astronomers one way or another, but not is such a degree that would lead to poor health and, ultimately, the loss of life.
Despite this encouraging news, the researchers cannot vouch for the effects of cosmic radiation in case of prolonged exposure and whether it would have different consequences. The authors of the study declare that “it is important to note that future missions of deep space exploration will likely offer much greater doses of space radiation than have historical doses, which will lead to a different risk profile for future astronauts and cosmonauts.”
In any case, NASA and other agencies that deal with space exploration will more than likely observe the astronomers closely and care for possible damaging effects of cosmic radiation.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.