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Question: How would a deep-space spacecraft protect its crew and electronics from cosmic radiation, solar wind, and solar events?

I'm trying to design a hypothetical space station and have been doing research on what it would take to create a sustainable space craft. One major issue is radiation from cosmic rays and solar flares.

Water is effective at absorbing radiation, but I can't figure out a way to have the water flow on the exterior of the spacecraft without freezing or boiling off. Another option would be to use reinforced polyethylene as the outer layer since polyethylene contains a high concentration of hydrogen, which is good at absorbing radiation and not creating a secondary wave.

However, how would polyethylene protect against solar flares and cosmic rays, which contain an immense amount of energy?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are asking How NASA's Gateway (plans) to protect against radiation or how to design your station? The title and the body of your question do not match. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Aug 5 '20 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Sorry, I modified the body and the question and completely forgot to change the title $\endgroup$ – Frank W Aug 6 '20 at 1:58
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    $\begingroup$ Nice edit, close vote retracted. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Aug 6 '20 at 3:13
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Hm... you know, I probably should start doing that $\endgroup$ – Frank W Aug 6 '20 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ Use funghi on the outside of the station/craft: phys.org/news/2020-07-chernobyl-fungi-shield-astronauts.html It grows in space, so you have a self-repairing shield and don#t need to carry the shield all the way from earth - provided you can wait until the shield has grown enough. However, this doesn't protect against high-energy impacts. I don't think we'll get the tech in the near future to be able to deal with that. $\endgroup$ – Polygnome Aug 6 '20 at 8:26

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