Could Cosmic Rays Threaten Mars Missions?

Thousands of people have volunteered for a potential mission to Mars, but if any of them end up making the trip, they might lose a few brain cells along the way.

New research out of UC Irvine finds that exposure to cosmic rays during the long journey, expected to take about six to eight months, can damage the brain and lead to dementia-like impairment.

This is not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two- to three-year round trip to Mars,” Charles Limoli explained. Limoli is a professor of radiation oncology at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. 

“Performance decrements, memory deficits and loss of awareness and focus during spaceflight may affect mission-critical activities, and exposure to these particles may have long-term adverse consequences to cognition throughout life.”

What can be done to protect astronauts speeding off to the red planet?

As a partial solution, Limoli said, spacecraft could be designed to include areas of increased shielding, such as those used for rest and sleep. But the brain-dulling particles would still get on board. 

“There is really no escaping them.”

Read more about the study

GIFS via Mars Brain Animation


We’re another step closer to the Hyperloop

Congratulations to the UC Irvine team on placing fifth in the first phase of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition!

Their HyperXite Pod uses compressed air to levitate and glide the pod on a track. And their design is one of that could accelerate the development of the Hyperloop, a concept for a high-speed transportation system introduced by entrepreneur Elon Musk.

More than 100 university teams around the world presented their ideas this past weekend at Texas A&M University, and UC Irvine will be one of 30 teams advancing to the final round of the competition.

During this last stage teams are expected to build half-scale prototypes that will be tested at the SpaceX Hyperloop track later this summer.

Other winners in the top five include MIT, Delft University of Technology from the Netherlands, the University of Wisconsin and Virginia Tech.

See other ways UC students and researchers are making Hyperloop a reality


A new #UCI one hour record has been broken! Congratulations Sir Bradley Wiggins @wigginsofficial on your new 54,526 record! #onehourrecord

Vuelta España 1936, 6th stage, Salamanca - Cáceres … 

214 kms, belgian Gustaaf Deloor won his third stage that day and kept his orange jersey (GC leader) he had received after the second stage and will wear it until Madrid, the arrival.

More than 150 hours on the bike for Gustaaf, the longest win ever in La Vuelta’s story, the average speed was 29kms per hour.

Did i mentionned that Gustaaf’s younger brother, Alfons, finished second overall ?