Even 54 years after the first manned flight, NASA experts continue to study the effect of the space environment on the human body, in particular, on vision and the musculoskeletal system. Recent research has focused on the human brain.
The experiments were carried out on mice, which were "fired" by scientists with several types of cosmic rays for six weeks. As a result, the mice have significantly decreased interest in the environment, they were confused in simple situations. To obtain a complete picture, the experimental animals underwent a tomography procedure.
The picture turned out to be very bleak. In the brains of mice, foci of inflammation were found, which inevitably leads to a disruption in communication between neurons. In other words, the particles hit the brain like tiny bullets. In humans, this tends to be the cause of Alzheimer's disease.
Fortunately, the ISS crews are not exposed to such a danger, since the station itself is located in the Earth's electromagnetic field, which is a natural protection from cosmic radiation, and the time spent at the station is limited.
But the participants in the mission to Mars, which will last for several years, may face serious problems. If by that time a reliable protection of the spacecraft has not been created, then the consequences for the astronauts can be the most deplorable - memory impairments, loss of consciousness and other health problems, possibly for the rest of their lives.