Print 25 comment(s) - last by phxfreddy.. on Apr 18 at 10:53 AM

Space is a dangerous place. ESA scientists are aiming to learn a little bit more about what it takes to survive in the big empty.

Space is generally not the safest backyard for humans to be playing around in. High on the list of peril are a practical vacuum, near absolute zero temperature and cosmic radiation of all sorts. While vacuum and low temperature are fairly well understood in this age, we are not as well-versed on the effects of radiation and various rays that the human body may be subject to in space.

The European Space Agency is concerned about astronauts and the dangers they may encounter while spending extended time in space. To this end, they have chosen the GSI accelerator facility as a testing ground for the effects of ion beams on human tissues. The GSI facility was chosen for its capability of reproducing all types of ion beams, as in space, astronauts may experience beams made from any of the naturally occurring elements, uranium to hydrogen.

Once free of the Earth's protective atmospheric blanket, space travelers will be subject to a hail of cosmic rays from all directions. Radiation is well known as a carcinogen. It can also simply kill living cells, leading to serious tissue damage in vital organs. Learning more about the problems cosmic radiation can cause will allow scientists and engineers to build safer space craft and suits.

The experiments will likely begin this year at GSI's current facilities and be carried over to their new FAIR accelerator at its completion. The FAIR unit will be able to produce more intense beams than the current accelerator, allowing more research possibilities.

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A star trek picture?
By aftlizard on 4/15/2008 9:31:42 AM , Rating: 2
For once this was the Fantastic 4's time to shine without Jessica Alba ruining it! You guys blew it!!</sarcasm

RE: A star trek picture?
By Brandon Hill on 4/15/2008 9:35:28 AM , Rating: 4
Did someone say Alba? :)

RE: A star trek picture?
By aftlizard on 4/15/2008 9:53:24 AM , Rating: 5
Mmmm, Alba...

RE: A star trek picture?
By kattanna on 4/15/2008 10:48:03 AM , Rating: 5
why can't it be her superpower is that her clothes alone dissappear


RE: A star trek picture?
By Tsuwamono on 4/15/2008 11:52:05 AM , Rating: 2
they have one of those.. but its a porn movie..

RE: A star trek picture?
By GhandiInstinct on 4/15/2008 11:05:12 AM , Rating: 1
Alba - El - Prego

Say it wit me naw!

RE: A star trek picture?
By AlexWade on 4/16/2008 8:24:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah. That was the ONLY good thing about that movie, seriously. The Fantastic Bore was more like it.

RE: A star trek picture?
By DukeN on 4/16/2008 10:51:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, Fantastic Snore was more like it.

Now if only there was some Alba action, Fantastic *hore might've made for an apt title ;)

By Jedi2155 on 4/15/2008 9:19:50 AM , Rating: 2
So we're going to shoot a ton of radiation into human tissue in a petri dish?

I wonder if it'll start growing legs, mouth and grab a top hat to start singing down the bench :-D.

RE: Mutations
By FITCamaro on 4/15/2008 9:30:55 AM , Rating: 5
Hello my baby, hello my honey....

RE: Mutations
By amanojaku on 4/15/2008 9:36:33 AM , Rating: 3
Everybody do the Michigan Rag
Everybody likes the Michigan Rag
Every Mame and Jane and Ruth
From Weehawken to Duluth
Slide, ride, glide the Michigan
Stomp, romp, pomp the Michigan
Jump, clump, pump the Michigan Rag
That lovin' rag!

RE: Mutations
By borismkv on 4/15/2008 11:22:17 AM , Rating: 5
Careful, man, the RIAA hates it when people post song lyrics on the Internet. I mean, we just got for free what they want you to sell your soul for.

RE: Mutations
By hduser on 4/15/2008 3:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
A Chuck Jones classic.

RE: Mutations
By phxfreddy on 4/18/2008 10:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
...hello my rag tyme gal

RE: Mutations
By Davelo on 4/15/2008 1:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
Oh no. Not again!

By Aberforth on 4/15/2008 11:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, space is a dangerous place if its between our ears.

RE: ???
By Tsuwamono on 4/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: ???
By Aberforth on 4/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: ???
By Etsp on 4/15/2008 1:03:15 PM , Rating: 4
Please return your PC to its vender and commence killing yourself for being that stupid
Do you mean vendor?   Seriously, Firefox has a built in spell checker that is defaulted to "On".  It doesn't take too much mental strain to look at the words that have the red dots under them and right-click on them.  Especially when you are trying to insult the intelligence of another person.

RE: ???
By StormEffect on 4/15/2008 2:09:48 PM , Rating: 1

By Shadowself on 4/15/2008 9:26:56 AM , Rating: 1
"... as in space, astronauts may experience beams made from any of the naturally occurring elements, uranium to hydrogen."

There are no "beams" made of anything in space. There is a general flux (from the sun) of relatively low to moderate energy ions. There is a steady, low rate of flux, nearly isotropic flux of cosmic rays (very high energy nucleons). But there are no "beams" from anywhere. (Even the huge stream of ions from a coronal mass ejection could not be called a "beam".)

RE: Wrong
By omnicronx on 4/15/2008 10:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
There are no "beams" made of anything in space.
Isnt a pulsar a beam in space?
Pulsars are highly magnetized rotating neutron stars which emit a beam of detectable electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio waves.
Useless piece of information #242342 in my brain.. not that I know anything about the subject.. Im just remembering an episode of Sliders from when I was younger haha.

RE: Wrong
By Durrr on 4/15/2008 9:39:01 PM , Rating: 1
You're right, beams imply a continuous emission of energy, not ionized particle, otherwise known as, ionizing radiation.

Step right up!
By MrBlastman on 4/15/2008 9:41:33 AM , Rating: 3
Sharper Image is proudly sponsoring the new Ion Beam Research Program! Brought to you by the Ionic Breeze™ we are looking for a few proud, bold volunteers to send the space program to new heights.

Sign up now!

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If you act now, the first 50 participants receive a brand new HEPA Filter and Ionic Breeze™ Plus system.

RE: Step right up!
By jnn4v on 4/15/2008 10:50:07 AM , Rating: 1
Somehow this reminded me of:
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 20, 2008--Sharper Image Corporation (NASDAQ:SHRP) announced that it had commenced a case under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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