Astronauts Returning to the Moon Will be Exposed to High Radiation

Katie Ramirez
September 27, 2020

Earlier devices could only record the entire "mission dose.' In its current issue, the scientific journal Science Advances reports on the work of the worldwide group of scientists involved with the LND, including researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR)".

Chang'E 4 achieved the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon in January 2019 after launching the month prior.

Daily radiation exposure on the Moon's surface was not properly reported during the original Apollo missions during the 1960s and 1970s.

Radiation is energy that is emitted in electromagnetic waves or particles.

Radiation levels on the surface of the moon are 2.6 times greater than those measured on the International Space Station, according to a new study. These measurements are important for understanding space weather, and over much longer time periods also so-called "astrobiology".

"From mitigation techniques to protection and enclosures, we're considering this in every environment astronauts will be in".

In space, the astronauts will be exposed as the moon has no atmosphere.

The next generation of USA astronauts is expected to return to the Moon by 2024 under the guise of NASA's Artemis programme.

Radiation on moon's surface measured for the first time, study says

"The radiation exposure we have measured is a good benchmark for the radiation inside an astronaut suit", said Thomas Berger, a researcher at the German Aerospace Center in Cologne and co-author of the study, in a statement. The measurements give us an equivalent dose rate - the biologically weighted radiation dose per unit of time - of around 60 microsieverts per hour.

The factor for this is that the ISS is still partially protected by the Earth's protective magnetic bubble, called the magnetosphere, which deflects most radiation from area. In comparability, on a long-haul flight from Frankfurt to NY, it's about 5 to 10 instances decrease, and on the bottom effectively over 200 instances decrease.

Space radiation exposure is one of the significant risks for astronauts' health.

The findings come at a time when United States and other nations are making plans to land humans on moon for the first time in decades (SN: 12/16/19).

However, the astronauts' risk of getting cancer and other diseases could be reduced using lunar habitats during long-term stays on the Moon.

"So that limits your stay to approximately two months on the surface of the Moon", he included, when the radiation direct exposure from the approximately week-long journey there, and week back, is taken into consideration.

"We humans are not really made to withstand space radiation", said study co-author Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, a researcher at Kiel University in Germany. Since astronauts would be on the moon for much longer than passengers flying to NY and back, this represents considerable exposure for humans, said Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber from Kiel University, whose team developed and built the instrument. "It is vital that the detector also allows conclusions to be drawn about the composition of the radiation field, such as how many neutrons and high energy-charged particles are present", explains Berger.

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