Space tourists may be at risk of DNA damage and cancer, University of Surrey researchers have found.

Experts are urging space tour operators of the future such as Virgin Galactic to protect passengers and crews from radiation exposure.

The Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protect people on the ground from exposure to unpredictable surges of electrically charged particles from the sun.

However, there can be dramatic increases in radiation at higher altitudes, such as those envisaged for space tourist flights.

Experts from the University of Surrey have made a series of recommendations to minimise risk, including new international standards, sharing clear safety information with passengers, and closely monitoring cosmic radiation during short space flights.