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Sun and cosmic rays will have on the human body.
Astronomers spotted the brightest supernova seen in modern times almost 17 years ago, and the Hubble Space Telescope has been keeping tabs on it since its launch. Just last year supernova 1987A put on a new show when a shockwave from its explosion smashed into a ring of gas that had probably been shed 20,000 years ago. Under the pressure from the shockwave, the gas has started to glow, like a ring of pearls around the centre of the explosion. More hotspots will keep appearing until the entire ring of gas is ablaze as it absorbs the full force of the shockwave.
Scientists are keen to explore Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, because it seems to have vast oceans of liquid water which could be a home for life. New analysis of the surface has found the presence of Hydrogen peroxide and strong acids which could kill life. The scientists who discovered it are unsure if these corrosive chemicals are just a light dusting on the surface of the moon, or a large component of its ice-covered oceans. Another problem with the search for life is the discovery that the ice might be much thicker than previously thought - perhaps as thick as 10 to 30 km - which would make exploring very difficult.
A Russian Soyuz rocket with a classified government cargo lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in far northern Russia. The Molniya-class booster took flight at approximately 0705 UTC (2:05 am EST), marking the first launch this year from the space centre. Details about the military communications satellite weren't revealed, only its name: Kosmos 2405. Russian President, Vladimir Putin was on hand to watch the launch.
Human travelers to Mars face many challenges. One of the biggest unknowns is exactly what effect radiation from the Sun and cosmic rays will have on the human body for the 1,000 days a journey to Mars might take. If the risk turns out to be high, there are methods that could cut down the amount of radiation humans might receive on the journey. One method could be to build parts of the spacecraft out of plastic, which absorbs radiation 20% better than aluminum; liquid hydrogen, which would be needed for fuel absorbs cosmic rays 2.5 times better.
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