PDA

View Full Version : Space sterility feared



Kiwi
2004-Jun-08, 04:47 PM
The above was the headline to a small article in my local paper tonight.
Manawatu Evening Standard, Tuesday 8 June 2004, page 5
"Moscow: A manned space mission to Mars should only include men aged over 60 in view of irreversible sterility that will afflict crew members on the flight, veteran Russian cosmonaut Valery Polyakov said in Moscow yesterday. Prolonged exposure to radiation, calcium deficit and muscular atrophy caused by weightlessness would make it "irrational and cruel" to send younger men, the qualified doctor said."

There is a longer version at the Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/07/1086460241340.html?oneclick=true), where Polyakov says he's ready to go. "I'm 62 and my wife will let me go as she says she couldn't stop me anyway."

It's the first I've heard of such a health warning and I suppose the hoax believers will use it as "proof" that the moon landings couldn't have occurred.

ToSeek
2004-Jun-08, 05:04 PM
I saw that one. It sounded to me as if he was trying to make a case for himself.

zebo-the-fat
2004-Jun-10, 09:59 PM
I'm nowhere near 60 and had a vasectomy years ago...... can I go? PLEEEZE! :D

Via Caltha
2004-Jun-11, 10:08 AM
You don't necessarily need people who can't have kids, anyway. You just need those who don't want any more. If it's true, that is - they will undoubtedly be mostly men ( :( ) and our, uh, reproductive products usually regenerate (I think - I'm not a biologist).


It's the first I've heard of such a health warning and I suppose the hoax believers will use it as "proof" that the moon landings couldn't have occurred.

Have any of them had children since going to the Moon? What about the people who have spent months on the space station?

Jigsaw
2004-Jun-12, 04:38 AM
Is anybody else flashing on Space Cowboys?

:D

Jigsaw
2004-Jun-12, 04:50 AM
Amount of ionizing radiation required to cause sterility:

http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/radon/radhlthb.htm

Sterility- In men, a single dose of 15 rem can cause temporary sterility and a single dose between 400 and 500 rem can cause permanent sterility. In women, a total dose of 400 rem, received over two or three exposures, has been known to cause permanent sterility.
Amount of radiation required to cause genetic defects:

Genetic Effects- No increase of genetic effects from radiation exposure has been found in humans. However, there have been a number of animal studies that have shown that exposure to fairly high doses of radiation increases the chances of genetic effects in the offspring of the exposed animals. They also indicate that radiation does not cause any unique effects. Rather, it increases the number of genetic effects which are normally seen in unexposed animals.

Even though genetic effects have not been found to increase in exposed human populations, it is safer to assume that there is an increased chance of these effects, even at low radiation doses.

Article here (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/radiation_evarm_020716.html) on radiation exposure of astronauts.

pmcolt
2004-Jun-12, 05:13 AM
Couldn't the "unfortunate" astronauts who become "burdened" with this Mars mission simply make some sort of... well... "donation" at a fertility clinic prior to leaving Earth? :oops:

And I don't understand how it's "irrational and cruel" to subject younger men to radiation, calcium deficit, and muscular atrophy, but it's ok for 60+ folks who'll probably be looking forward to retirement in a few years. I sort of imagine that "younger men" will be falling all over themselves to volunteer for such a mission.

Uninvited Guest
2004-Jun-14, 01:01 PM
Have any of them had children since going to the Moon? What about the people who have spent months on the space station?

I don't know offhand if any of the Apollo astronauts reproduced after returning from the Moon, but they were only outside the Earth's atmosphere for a week or so, and the dose is of course proportional to the duration of exposure.

All manned missions after Apollo have been confined to low Earth orbit, and so were largely protected from some types of radiation by the Earth's magnetic field.