Space Travel and Alzheimer’s Disease

By Kevin Woo  | Special to Alzheimer’s Speaks  January 15, 2013


Cast your gaze to the heavens. Imagine would it would be like to walk on the moon. Perhaps you’re even more adventuresome and hope that someday you’ll have the chance to visit Mars, the planet that holds so much fascination for earthlings.

If money were no object would you take the two-year trip to the red planet?  Would you trade two years with your family and friends for a trip to Mars?  Would you go if it cost you a lifetime with loved ones?

That’s the dilemma that astronauts will face as NASA pushes the boundaries of space exploration. Civilians may also face the decision as commercial space travel comes closer to reality.

Are there consequences for space travel?  Researchers say that extended space travel and exposure to cosmic radiation can increase the plaque associated with an accelerated progression of Alzheimer’s.

Commercial space flight may become viable for average citizens within the next few decades. Would you take a flight into space even at the risk of (potentially) developing Alzheimer’s Disease?  What if the cost for flight included years with your loved ones?  Would you take the risk and go?

11 Replies to “Space Travel and Alzheimer’s Disease”

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  2. As a former spacesuit designer, I am always excited about any thing to do with space.

    It is neat to find out that a one time water was present on Mars!

  3. Another key development in space travel is space tourism and the prospect of commercialising space flights. So far there have been only 7 space tourists in what is essentially, an incredibly expensive holiday; at the moment it is an incredibly expensive business; a 10-day flight costs around $20 million US dollars. Professor Hoffman looks forward to the commercialisation of space flights, seeing strong potential in the future of space tourism.

    1. As a former Spacesuit and capsule interior designer, the start up costs are expensive. As we moved into the Apollo program the cost for suits ( three per person) were less. The take away is that as frequency and experience increases cost go down.

  4. Perhaps space travel has become old. Perhaps people have come to take it for granted. It’s been seen in so many movies. So many space shuttles have taken off and returned to Earth that we think little more of them than we do of jumbo jets.

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