Dangers of Space Travel
Space travel can beneficial to mankind, but there are dangers as well. As the Columbia Space Tragedy has showed, accidents can, and will, happen. Injuries and deaths have resulted from accidents that happened since man started to explore space. These are, of course, a result of the various dangers that Space poses. If the dangers are not taken care of properly, tragedies will occur. Here we have listed some of the dangers and their impact on astronauts.
A result of human activity in Space, it is one of the greatest dangers. Previous missions have left behind great amount of debris. There are an estimated 10,000 man-made objects larger that 10 cm in orbit and probably tens of millions of fragments less than 1 cm. the risk of collision is high. Collision with such debris could damage the thermal tiles, leading to dire consequences, such as the break-up of shuttles.
Solar and Cosmic
Solar and cosmic radiation and micrometeorites (small bits of rock and dust) might puncture a spacecraft hull or an astronautís pressure suit. Loss of air is fatal in the vacuum of Space and serious accidents might happen as a result of this.
The extreme temperature of space is another threat. From freezing darkness to boiling sunlight, the hostile environment of Space requires equipment to be carefully and properly designed.
It is not enough simply to keep people alive in Space. It is to allow people to carry out useful research work and scientific experiments. Tools and techniques have to be developed with the utmost care. Missions and hardware would have to be carefully designed to help ensure the safety of space crews in any foreseeable emergency, from liftoff to landing.