One of the biggest problems with long-term space exploration is the impact of space radiation on humans. At the moment, there is little to no research being done with the goal of improving human radioresistance. The impact of this type of space radiation on the body is well known, reducing the risks is the next natural step in the research process.
Earlier this week, NASA released a report setting out their roadmap dictating how they plan to increase human radioresistance going forward. Reducing the health risks on humans while still being able to benefit from the information long-term expeditions can bring is NASA’s ultimate goal. The report released is intended to help direct further research and was directed to the scientific community at large.
There were numerous research directions set out in the report. Finding answers in any one of these areas would help enhance radioresistence in humans. Some of the topics included finding leeways into genome therapy, substituting organic molecules with synthetically fortified ones, coordinating regenerative and ablative technology, and finding ways to slow down metabolism while still encouraging cognitive processes.
Finding ways to enhance radioresistance not only helps protect those researching in space now, it could lead to space colonization. At the moment, colonization of any area of space is a theoretical concept at best. Keeping humans safe from space radiation is an incredibly difficult task, one that makes long-term colonization virtually impossible.
The report also noted the link between the development of radioresistance and increasing the human lifespan. Finding solutions to the problem of human intolerance of space radiation could dramatically improve and prolong the lives of those who are in space for an extended time. It may even help scientists find ways to prolong the human lifespan on Earth, possibly leading to anti-aging breakthroughs.