Going to Mars

Dear Editor:In the Aug. 26 issue of The Downey Patriot, there was an article about a science-oriented group of people meeting at the Columbia Memorial Space Center. Robert Zubrin, president and founder of the Mars Society, said he wants NASA to aggressively pursue a human trip to Mars. It would take seven months to get there and seven months to get back: 14 months total or approximately 6,000 hours. No human could withstand that amount of solar radiation. The astronaut would have to travel through the Van Allen Radiation Belt, an intense amount of radiation encircling the Earth, twice. Also, the human body needs gravity to survive. Six-thousand hours without gravity would weaken every muscle in the body, including the heart. No human could endure such deterioration. Lead is the only thing that can block solar radiation to a human being but it is just realistically too heavy for space travel. While going to Mars is a nice dream, it will never happen. -- Mike Sandoval, Downey

********** Published: September 2, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 20