Questions for ‘En route to Mars, astronauts may face big health risks’


In a simulated environment called HI-SEAS, astronauts practice for a mission to Mars at a site in Hawaii.

University of Hawai‘i.

To accompany feature “En route to Mars, astronauts may face big health risks” 


Before Reading

1. What do you think are the biggest risks of traveling to outer space?               

2. What kinds of protection do you think astronauts need when they travel?                    

During Reading

1. Who was the first astronaut to get sick to his stomach in space?  What was the reason?   

2. According to astronaut Jessica Meir, what is the biggest problem right now facing people who will be traveling to Mars?      

3. What is the magnetosphere and why is it helpful to dwellers on Earth (and in its atmosphere)?

4. What is the difference between radiation sickness and regular space sickness?     

5. What are cosmic rays and how can they prove dangerous to astronauts?

6. Why is it important for astronauts to exercise in space?

7. How can space travel affect an astronaut’s brain?     

8. What do bed-rest studies have to do with space travel? With the elderly?      

9. Describe some of the psychological risks of traveling in space?     

10. How are astronauts training on Earth for missions to Mars?  

After Reading

1. There are a lot of risks associated with human space travel. Why is it important to explore such a vast and potentially dangerous place?  

2. Would you volunteer to travel to space, knowing the risks? Why or why not?          


1. How could studying the risks of space travel lead to a better life for those of us who are Earth-bound?