Mars Colonisation: The Health Hazards and Exposure Control

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J. R. Cain (2018), JBIS, 71, pp.178-185

Refcode: 2018.71.178
Keywords: Hazards, Astronaut exposure, Risk assessment, Astronautical hygiene

Astronauts will eventually travel to, land on Mars and subsequently begin to explore the red planet prior to the establishment of settlements. However, this will only be possible if the hazards to which the astronauts will be exposed and the associated health effects are effectively controlled. This paper will identify the hazards likely to be encountered by astronauts during the journey to Mars and during working and living on Mars. These hazards will include the chemical, physical, biological and psychological aspects for example, exposure to toxic dust, radiation, microbes and stress/isolation respectively. This will be followed by a brief discussion of the need for health exposure risk assessments to ensure that the exposure to the health risks will be well controlled. A description of the measures likely to be available to mitigate exposure to the Martian health hazards for example, methods to reduce toxic dust levels in and around spacecraft and colonies together with the effective design of spacesuits, will be outlined.

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