The Big Bang that created the Universe left traces of itself everywhere—an afterglow known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). You’ve probably never thought to ask whether there’s a practical use for the CMB, but lo and behold, cosmologists found it: data encryption.
Now that millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito has officially announced his intention to send a man and a woman on a round-trip journey to Mars in 2018, a few more details are trickling out about the Inspiration Mars project. One such detail is how the Inspiration Mars team plans to protect its astronauts from cosmic…
Turns out, being blown out of an airlock and turning into a meat popsicle after succumbing to hypoxia isn't so bad. At least, not when compared to the multitude of other deadly maladies that await you in the depths of space. Here are just a few ways that interplanetary exploration is conspiring to kill us all.
Beyond a few brief trips to the Moon over four decades ago, humanity has never ventured outside of Earth's protective magnetic field. And while it's natural to dream of exploring the stars, such voyages may carry impossibly high medical risks.
In the ultimate cosmic cataclysm, two ultra-dense bodies collide. For less than a second, incredible amounts of super-charged particles explode forth. These blasts could wipe out most life on Earth...and it's probably happened dozens of times already.
The world's filled with radiation. It's unavoidable. But at higher altitudes—say, in an airplane—you're hit with around 100 times more cosmic radiation from space. You can't dodge it, but you can measure what you're soaking in.
America's current plans for human space exploration seem horribly slow, considering we won't leave Earth's orbit until 2025 and won't reach Mars until 2035. Worse than that, solar radiation spikes could keep us grounded for decades more.