Radiation exposure to astronauts could be a significant obstacle for long duration manned space exploration because of current uncertainties regarding the extent of biological effects. Furthermore, concepts for protective shielding also pose a technically challenging issue due to the nature of cosmic radiation and current mass and power constraints with modern exploration technology. The concern regarding exposure to cosmic radiation is the biological damage it induces. As damage is associated with increased oxidative stress, it is important and would be enabling to mitigate and/or prevent oxidative stress prior to the development of clinical symptoms and disease. This paper hypothesizes a "systems biology" approach in which a combination of chemical and biological mitigation techniques are used conjunctively. It proposes using new, therapeutic, medical gases as both chemical radioprotectors for radical scavenging and biological signaling molecules for management of the body's response to exposure. From reviewing radiochemistry of water, biological effects of CO, H2, NO, and H2S gas, and mechanisms of radiation biology, it is concluded that this approach may have great therapeutic potential for radiation exposure. Furthermore, it also appears to have similar potential for curtailing the pathogenesis of other diseases in which oxidative stress has been implicated including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic inflammatory disease, hypertension, ischemia/reperfusion injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, cataracts, and aging.