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Lancet Oncol. 2006 May;7(5):431-5.

Cancer risk from exposure to galactic cosmic rays: implications for space exploration by human beings.

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lyndon B Johnson Space Centre, Houston, TX 77058, USA.


Space programmes are shifting toward planetary exploration, and in particular towards missions by human beings to the moon and Mars. However, exposure to space radiation is an important barrier to exploration of the solar system by human beings because of the biological effects of high-energy heavy ions. These ions have a high charge and energy, are the main contributors to radiation risk in deep space, and their biological effects are understood poorly. Predictions of the nature and magnitude of risks posed by exposure to radiation in space are subject to many uncertainties. In recent years, worldwide efforts have focussed on an increased understanding of the oncogenic potential of galactic cosmic rays. A review of the new results in this specialty will be presented here.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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