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cosmic ray protection from Martian atmosphere? ...Nope
Well if you can get a reference to that paper, I'd very much like to read it.

And the Faraday cage won't make any difference for anyone, but I do think you can grow crops without worrying about cosmic rays. Plants don't generally live long enough to get cancer, and if you increase the mutation rate, well, that will just help you breed varieties better adapted to the local conditions.

For this reason, some have proposed that agricultural areas don't need as much shielding as the living areas. But I'm not buying it. You're going to need people going up and down those rows of crops on a regular basis. Even with robotics and automation, there is always maintenance to be done, and no better/cheaper/faster way to do it than to have a person in there with bare hands, working the problem. And we don't want those maintenance workers getting cancer (or any of the other medical problems cosmic rays are likely to cause).

So, I think our agricultural areas will be just as shielded as the rest... or more likely, they'll be inside the main living areas, perhaps on a higher deck (since I do think reduced gravity is fine in this case).

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier


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RE: cosmic ray protection from Martian atmosphere? ...Nope - JoeStrout - 10-05-2015, 08:00 AM

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