Astronauts are set to do a fly by of Mars in 2018 in a private spacecraft with limited capacity making the trip rather claustrophobic for some. The craft will also be utilizing technology that turns human waste into a radiation shield to protect the astronauts from dangerous solar radiation.
The mission is funded privately by billionaire Dennis Tito and has somewhat of a twist to it. Tito plans to have a married couple perform the mission kicking off the tourist industry in space.
An excerpt from an IndianExpress.com article reads;
However, their greatest health risk comes from exposure to the radiation from cosmic rays, ‘New Scientist’ reported.
The project will develop a radiation shield for the spacecraft by lining its walls with human waste, among other materials.
“It’s a little queasy sounding, but there’s no place for that material to go, and it makes great radiation shielding,” said Taber MacCallum, a member of the team funded by Tito who announced the audacious plan earlier.
Solid and liquid human waste products would be put into bags and used as a radiation shield – as well as being dehydrated so that any water can be recycled for drinking, McCallum said.
“Dehydrate them as much as possible, because we need to get the water back,” he said.
“Those solid waste products get put into a bag, put right back against the wall,” said MacCallum, adding food too could be used as a radiation shield.
“Food is going to be stored all around the walls of the spacecraft, because food is good radiation shielding,” he said.
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