# What is the probability that a deep space crew is hit by a Solar proton storm?

The Sun's magnetic field now and then accelerates a gigantic amount of high velocity protons in different directions. Regardless of the types and causes, let's call it "proton storm" when it is dangerous enough to cause radiation acute sickness to astronauts outside of the useful natural protection of Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.

What is the probability that a deep space mission gets hit by such a Solar proton storm? The Apollo missions all were lucky in this respect. But how lucky were they? As a benchmark, let's assume here the same radiation protection that the Apollo missions had, which I understand wasn't much at all.

What's the probability for a half-month Apollo type crew on the sunny side of the Moon being hit by an acutely unhealthy Solar proton storm?

What's the probability of a 26 months Hohmann conjunction mission to, and on, Mars having to experience such an event? If they did it the Apollo way in terms of radiation protection.

The further out from the Sun, the lower the impact, I suppose. Would it for example be a non-issue for humans at Saturn? Is there a neat probability distribution as a function of distance and time?

• There are Solar (Sun spot) seasons, 11 year cycles, to consider. To simplify a potential answer, this might be averaged out or taken at its best or worst if specified. Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 17:28
• Whilst this is an interesting question and important as a consideration for any interplanetary missions it is going to be difficult to answer without first making assumptions of a) shielding (which you have done by referencing Apollo) and b) the acceptable human impacts as a) and b) together define the size of storm that is important (otherwise it becomes prone to Carrington type answers where one is left wondering if smaller storms could also be a problem. Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 12:46