A new study has shown that limiting flight times to and from the Red Planet will help reduce the amount of dangerous radiation astronauts are exposed to.
To send travelers to Mars, scientists and engineers will have to overcome many technological and safety obstacles. One of them is the serious risk associated with the radiation of particles from the Sun, distant stars and galaxies.
The main task of scientists is to find an answer to two questions. First, would particle radiation pose too much of a threat to human life on a round trip to Mars? Secondly, is it possible to protect astronauts and spacecraft from radiation by regulating the flight itself, for example, its duration? Scientists answer both in an article for Space Weather magazine.
According to the study, the danger of radiation while traveling to Mars can be minimized by limiting the duration of the mission. On average, it should not exceed four years. Also, the time of a man’s flight to Mars matters. Scientists have determined that the best time is the period of the solar maximum. Then the spacecraft will be less exposed to dangerous and energetic particles from distant galaxies. They will be deflected by increased solar activity.
A trip that long would be possible. On average, a flight to Mars takes about nine months. Therefore, depending on the launch time and the available fuel, the human mission will reach the Red Planet and return to Earth in less than two years.