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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

NASA plans to genetically modify astronauts so they can survive the journey to Mars

•, by: Isabelle Z

Some people believe that incredible scientific discoveries could be waiting on the red planet, and NASA has recently ramped up its efforts in hopes of sending astronauts there in the 2030s.

Cosmic radiation is one of the biggest problems those who visit Mars will face, and it comes not only from the sun but also stellar explosions that occur far beyond our solar system. Particle radiation in space can collide with nuclei in human tissue, creating nuclear collisions that can create new particles and damage human cell DNA. Earth's magnetic field generally protects us from these particles, but the astronauts headed for Mars could be exposed to them for years without protection.

Now NASA is mulling over several ways to deal with this challenge, including the use of drugs that will alter the astronauts' DNA. They believe that this could help to repair any damage that is caused by the high-energy particles bombarding them when they visit the planet.

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