Updated measurements of charged particle fluxes during the transit from Earth to Mars conducted with the Radiation Assessment Detector inside the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft; as well as on-site measurements by Curiosity of Martian surface radiation fluxes; provided valuable knowledge for a better evaluation of potential health hazards associated with human space missions.
Numerous Exciting and Fascinating Possibilities
While space travel opens the door to numerous exciting and fascinating possibilities, it is associated with such risks that impact the crewmember’s health and performance, thus jeopardizing the success of future missions to distant destinations. Therefore, designing mitigation of risks to astronauts; such as those from exposure to space radiation during transit and after landing/colonization is an unmet need.
Importantly, potentially life-threatening risks of developing cancer, brain, and central nervous system damage; and other tissue degenerations have identifies that result from radiation exposure unique to space travel. Two forms of radiation pose potential health risks to astronauts in deep space.
There is chronic low-dose exposure to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), as well as the possibility of short-term exposures to the solar energetic particles (SEPs) that are sporadically accelerated close to the Sun by solar flares and coronal mass ejections or solar particle events (SPEs). GCRs tend to be highly energetic; highly penetrating particles that do not stop by the modest depths of shielding on a typical spacecraft.
Lung Vascular Network Cell
first validated the in vitro lung vascular network cell system as a model; to study space radiation damage to the endovasculature at 24 h post exposure of FAECs to low dose gamma; low LET (3–4 keV/µm) proton radiation , high LET (8–10 keV/µm) proton radiation; or mixed field gamma and proton radiation exposure by evaluating induction of the endothelial cell inflammatory phenotype (ICAM-1) and NLRP3 inflammasome induction and activation.
In order to determine whether LGM2605; given post radiation exposure, is an effective mitigator of space radiation-inducing vascular damage; The researcher evaluated the dampening of the endothelial inflammatory phenotype; its functional effects and NLRP3 inflammasome activation.
In the subsequent studies, we exposed FAECs to gamma radiation; low LET proton radiation, high LET proton radiation, or mixed field radiation. LGM2605 was added 30 min post exposure and cells are evaluating 24 h later for expression of the cell adhesion molecule ICAM-1; a known marker of the inflammatory phenotype of cells; and NLRP3 inflammasome activation.
They have shown space radiation-induced inflammatory phenotype, inflammasome activation, and damage post radiation. Additionally, we have identified the ability of LGM2605 to inhibit the inflammatory phenotype in vitro lung vascular networks exposed to space radiation.