Just as President Bush is about to announce his plan to send men to Mars (and the moon), our Immunology professor made a great point today–the Earth’s atmsophere protects us from a great deal of ionizing radiation, but once you’re in space, your body is barraged with cosmic radiation with almost no protection. If there’s ever any plan to make a space base or Mars travel (which could take more than 8 months on the low end), we’ll need to find a way to shield people from the radiation exposure.
Which got me thinking–do you think astronauts do sperm or egg freezing before they leave? Probably, right? Not just because of the radiation, but in case anything were to happen to them. Couldn’t find anything related at the NASA site.