Missions to Mars could cause permanent kidney damage for astronauts, study warns trends now

Missions to Mars could cause permanent kidney damage for astronauts, study warns trends now

Of 24 astronauts who've travelled to the moon, most suffered kidney changes Astronauts going to Mars could develop kidney stones and even need dialysis

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Houston, we have a kidney problem. 

Missions to Mars could cause permanent kidney damage for astronauts, a new study has warned. 

A review of the health impacts of space travel on the 24 astronauts who have travelled to the moon has found that many of them suffered changes to their kidneys as a result.

And while most astronauts on lunar trips only spent between 6-12 days in space, eight years exposed to galactic radiation - around four-years travel for each leg of a journey to the Red Planet - would result in much greater harm to the kidneys.

Astronauts would develop painful kidney stones and could even need dialysis, according to the study. 

Missions to Mars could cause permanent kidney damage for astronauts, a new study has warned (artist's impression)

Missions to Mars could cause permanent kidney damage for astronauts, a new study has warned (artist's impression)

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NASA finds traces of gas that could be a sign of life near a crater on the Red Planet

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The US space agency NASA and the electric car tycoon Elon Musk have both set as a goal a manned mission to Mars.

Unless new drugs to protect astronauts' kidneys are developed the health risk 'would jeopardise' any future 66 million-mile round trip to the Red Planet. 

Such drugs could have benefits on Earth too - a protective medication could prevent cancer patients suffering harm to their kidneys from radiotherapy.

A study of potential health impacts on space travellers by University College London scientists found they are likely to suffer from kidney stones and probably need dialysis on the return flight, the research suggests. 

The study, published in Nature Communications, is the largest analysis of kidney health in space flight to date.

Astronauts would develop painful kidney stones (artist's impression) and could even need dialysis, according to the study

Astronauts would develop painful kidney stones (artist's impression) and could even need dialysis, according to the study

What are kidney stones? 

Kidney stones are hard lumps that form due to a build up of waste products in the blood.

They are usually found in the kidney or the ureter — the tube that

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