Deadly moon shots

Now that the US government has granted approval for a private company to land on the Moon, the private astronauts should be aware that it’s a real strain on the heart.

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved an application by Moon Express to land a craft on the Moon next year.

“Our goal is to blaze a trail to the Moon to unlock its mysteries and resources so we can improve life on Earth,” said Moon Express co-founder Bob Richard.

Just so long as he takes out good insurance: 43% of the astronauts who went to the moon died of heart disease, while 11% of those who stayed in low-Earth orbit died from the same cause. Only 9% of those who never went up in a rocket died from heart disease.

Although the sample group was very small – just 42 astronauts – a study published in Scientific Reports suggests that space radiation, which travels extremely fast, may be the cause of this higher mortality.

Earthbound creatures don’t suffer the same because the they are surrounded by a magnetic field, which deflects the majority of the charged particles hurtling towards the planet.


Picture source: NASA/James B. Irwin via Wikimedia Commons