Astronauts will get dumber on their way to Mars

For enthusiasts of space travel, the bad news keeps coming. A new study, just published in Science Advances, finds that the smartest humans who will be chosen to go to Mars may not remain smart by the time they reach their destination (if at all they do).

We have known for a long time that leaving our cushy planet is fraught with problems. Space may be largely empty, but it’s filled up with invisible charged particles traveling at nearly the speed of light. Earth’s magnetic field deflects these particles, but space travelers will inevitably be exposed to such radiation. And the new study predicts that it will cause rapid and permanent damage to the brain.

Read more on Quartz, published May 1, 2015.

Image credit: NASA