(Mirror Daily, United States) – A recent study suggests that there may be a link between deep space radiation and heart troubles in the men that landed on the Moon aka the Apollo team.

Researchers found that cardiovascular-related deaths are nearly five times more frequent among Apollo astronauts than in astronauts that have never left the Earth’s orbit.

For the study, a team at Florida State University sifted through medical data of astronauts that never departed from the planet’s low orbit aka LEO and those that landed on the moon. The team found that the risk of having a heart-related event was four times higher in Apollo space travelers.

Apollo was a lunar program sponsored by the U.S. government to gather science and land on the Moon. Of the total 11 flights, six performed a successful landing. In the end, a dozen Apollo astronauts walked on Earth’s natural satellite, but the most notorious were Apollo 11 mission’s members Edwin E. ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Neil Armstrong who were the first two men to walk on the lunar surface.

So, far Apollo astronauts are the only space travelers to go beyond the planet’s geomagnetic field and reach a deep-space target. Inside the Earth’s magnetic field humans and other living organisms are protected from harmful cosmic radiation.

But when humans leave the protective dome, they get exposed to tremendous levels of deep space radiation, which past studies had linked to a cohort of health problems. Yet, the new study which was published this week in the journal science suggests that the radiation can cause heart conditions in astronauts.

Lead author of the study Dr. Michael Delp thinks that we may have underestimated the impact of deep space radiation on human health. Dr. Delp’s team wanted to learn whether the Apollo astronauts who died in the meantime were killed by radiation.

The team found that of the 24 astronauts who took part in Apollo missions eight are no more. The study, which focused on seven late astronauts, found that 43 percent of them were killed by a cardiovascular condition. Other causes of death were car crashes (14 percent) and cancer (nearly 30 percent). The eighth late Apollo astronaut died earlier this year so he wasn’t included in the research.

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