Home > Astronomy, Cosmic Rays, General Astronomy, LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter), Spaceflight, Unmanned Spaceflight > Moon Radiation Findings May Reduce Health Risks To Astronauts

Moon Radiation Findings May Reduce Health Risks To Astronauts


Space scientists from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) report that data gathered by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) show lighter materials like plastics provide effective shielding against the radiation hazards faced by astronauts during extended space travel. The finding could help reduce health risks to humans on future missions into deep space.

Aluminum has always been the primary material in spacecraft construction, but it provides relatively little protection against high-energy cosmic rays and can add so much mass to spacecraft that they become cost-prohibitive to launch.

Says Cary Zeitlin (lead author), “This is the first study using observations from space to confirm what has been thought for some time – that plastics and other lightweight materials are pound-for-pound more effective for shielding against cosmic radiation than aluminum. Shielding can’t entirely solve the radiation exposure problem in deep space, but there are clear differences in effectiveness of different materials.”

Full Story: http://www.eos.unh.edu/news/indiv_news.shtml?NEWS_ID=1391

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