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[Editorial] Safe (space) travels

More than 100 years after the silent film A Trip to Mars, and with the blockbuster The Martian still playing in cinemas, NASA has affirmed that sending Americans to the red planet is no longer intended to be a flight of fancy. Indeed, NASA plans to establish a formal Mars programme with manned space flights to the planet by the mid-2030s. On Oct 29, 2015, the Office of the Inspector General released the report, NASA’s Efforts to Manage Health and Human Performance Risks for Space Exploration. The audit quantifies the Agency’s programmes to manage and mitigate risks from what has been learned in the past 40 years of studying the effects of space travel on human beings.