Space the Final Frontier

Bad News: Trip to Mars Comes With a Massive Dose of Radiation

Womp womp.
Nope.

Nope.

Take off that space helmet and pull up a chair, because we’ve got some bad news. The Mars Curiosity rover measured radiation levels on its way to the Red Planet, and yesterday, NASA released the results.

Sorry, guys, but if we used our current technology your adventure would come with a possibly lethal side of radiation:

The findings, which are published in the May 31 edition of the journal Science, indicate radiation exposure for human explorers could exceed NASA’s career limit for astronauts if current propulsion systems are used.

“In terms of accumulated dose, it’s like getting a whole-body CT scan once every five or six days,” as one scientist put it.

NASA did put a positive spin on the news, saying the research isĀ “providing NASA the information it needs to design systems to protect human explorers from radiation exposure on deep-space expeditions in the future.” Unfortunately, every time NASA says “in the future,” you can pretty much read it as “decades from now.”

Okay, who wants to break the bad news to Elon Musk?

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com