Is it possible for astronauts to land on Europa safely?

Given the fact that radiation level on Europa is about 5.4 Sv (or about 540 rem) per day and the temperature is around -260 °F (or about -160 °C).

--> Assume astronauts somehow land successfully on Europa and are equipped with the latest and most advanced spacesuit as of 2022. For how long could they stay on the Europa's surface before the radiation level and the cold temperature get out of hand and potentially kill them in process?


1 Answer 1


About Four Minutes

The OSHA safety limit for radiation is 5 REM per year. With a surface radiation is 540 REM, you'd hit the OSHA limit at about 3 minutes 45 seconds.

Space suits provide negligible radiation protection. To understand how little, consider the tenth thickness of lead is 4 cm (1.5 inches). For a space suit to increase one's stay time from 4 minutes to 40 minutes, it would need to be made of 1.5 inch thick lead plate!

Or One Day if you're Ruthless

A 6 Sv dose has about a 50% survival rate, assuming you can get medical treatment quickly. (Gy and Sv are equivalent for this kind of rough math.)

So your crew could stay for a day if you're willing to have half of them die on the way home.


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