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Fatal heart disease risk to Apollo spacemen.

Byline: john von radowitz ASTRONAUTS on the Apollo missions to the Moon were exposed to levels of radiation that increased their risk of fatal heart disease, a study suggests.

Scientists compared causes of death for seven lunar astronauts and 35 who never got further than Earth orbit.

They found that 43 per cent of the Apollo astronauts died from a cardiovascular problem compared with 11 per cent of the low Earth orbit astronauts.

Another group of 35 who had not flown a mission had a heart disease death rate of nine per cent.

Tests indicated that radiation rather than the effects of weightlessness was responsible for the high proportion of Apollo astronauts suffering life-threatening heart problems.

The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, have implications for planned long-duration space missions to the moon and Mars.

Lead scientist, Professor Michael Delp, from Florida State University, US, said: "We know very little about the effects of deep space radiation on human health, particularly on the cardiovascular system.

"This gives us the first glimpse into its adverse effects on humans."

The Apollo programme launched 11 manned flights into space between 1968 and 1972.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Apollo 11 mission made history when they landed their lunar module on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969.

Of the 24 men who flew into deep space on the Apollo missions, eight have died and all but one of them were included in the study.


HISTORY Aldrin on Moon

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 29, 2016
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