When astronauts one day step foot on the red planet for long-term exploratory missions, they’ll be up against an invisible adversary – space radiation.

While much is known about the consequences of radiation here on Earth, the conditions beyond our home planet create a different set of challenges, so relying on the same protective methods could ultimately make exposure worse.

NASA scientists are now working to determine just how this radiation affects the human body, and develop ways to protect against the violent ‘nuclear collisions’ that occur as high-energy particles slam into shielding and human tissue.

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