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Questions tagged [cosmic-radiation]

Questions about cosmic rays and cosmic background radiation.

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Why don't astronauts/ships/stations carry portable 'magnetospheres'? [duplicate]

As I understand it, cosmic radiation is one of the biggest dangers/problems to space exploration. Some cursory research seems to suggest that it wouldn't take very strong magnetic fields to deflect ...
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How much radiation are astronauts on the ISS exposed to?

From reading this question it would appear is if we do not currently have a great solution to radiation shielding in existing space craft - Different sources have conflicting numbers: This article ...
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How are cubesat electronics protected against the effects of radiation in LEO?

I'm curious to know the various ways that cubesat electronics can be protected from the effects of cosmic rays or solar events while in LEO. How different are the components used in cubesats from some ...
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Is it safe to consume food that's been exposed to cosmic rays?

Related to this question: Could the void of space act as a good refrigerator for food in long journeys? I don't have enough rep to comment and don't have the answer to this question but it feels to ...
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Examples of gamma ray or X-ray imaging of small planets, moons, or asteroids, or at least how to calculate intensity thereof?

Have any spatially resolved measurements of gamma rays or X-rays from medium and small solar system bodies been collected from space? These might be planets, moons, or asteroids for example, but ...
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How did Apollo missions solve the cosmic radiation problem?

One of the major hurdles of space exploration is cosmic radiation. How did the Apollo missions solve the radiation problem? NASA would have shielded the astronauts to some level by some material. How ...
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1answer
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Level of radiation on surface/ocean of Mars AFTER terraforming

I am a Mars enthusiast, and lately have been wondering how safe Mars would be to live on after it hypothetically has been terraformed into a pseudo Earth. Obviously, the bigger health hazard would be ...
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170 views

3D Model of radiation in earth orbit?

I am trying to estimate required shielding masses to maintain a radiation level at or below earths average radiation of 3 mSv per year at different earth orbits (LEO, MEO, GEO and 50000 km+). ...
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How much soil can be supported by an inflatable habitat on Mars?

What weight of Martian soil can be supported by the top of an inflatable habitat pressurized at Earth's atmosphere? While habitat's shape is a huge factor, this has 20 meter modules, semi-cylindrical ...
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Why can't permanent magnets be used for radiation shielding in space?

I've been reading a lot about concepts for protecting astronauts from Galactic Cosmic Radiation on interplanetary voyages. I've read about a lot of different ideas, but all of the ones involving a ...
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1answer
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What's the unshielded radiation dose in mSv in Low Earth Orbit?

Say we have a guy orbiting Earth in LEO with no spacesuit (I know, I know), what would be the millisieverts he would be receiving?
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Could riding a coronal mass ejection to avoid radiation be viable?

The recent article in The Register Ten spacecraft – from Venus Express to Voyager 2 – all tracked same solar flare talks about ten spacecraft noticing the same coronal mass ejection (CME) as it ...
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Are artificial magnetic fields used or proposed to be used to shield astronauts from charged, high energy radiation? [duplicate]

If not for the earth's magnetic field our atmosphere would be bombarded by high energy plasma (ionized gas) from the sun and other space sources. Much of these particles have more energy than the ...
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1answer
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What cosmic ray sensor is attached to this Balloon?

This short BBC News item shows a very large high altitude balloon lifting a science payload to measure high energy cosmic rays for about 100 days, circling the Earth perhaps twice in the process. ...
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1answer
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Is radiation dose from cosmic rays higher behind 50 cm of shielding, or lower?

I have seen it said that because high-energy GCR particles cause a spray of secondary particles when they pass through material, there is more radiation behind even quite thick shielding that there is ...
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Can cosmic background be harvested for energy?

I know it would be awfully weak, but it's present even where all other power sources would be unavailable - could cosmic level radiation be used to power minimal set of systems of a probe, say, a ...
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1answer
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Is there any safety advantage/disadvantage to a particular attitude of a vessel in space?

Is there any safety advantage/disadvantage to a particular attitude in space - lined up with the sun, sideways, tumbling or spinning? Assuming a long cylindrical space craft on a long journey within ...
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1answer
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Protecting technology from radiation on mars

Mars hasn't got a very strong magnetosphere. I often read that even equipment and technology needs to be protected against the radiation. My question: How do they protect the equipment from ...
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What properties of a material make for good radiation shielding? [duplicate]

What is the requirement of a material to deflect or block radioactive particles? Is it the number of electrons surrounding the atom? The density of the nucleus? The strength of the bond of the atoms ...
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What kinds of radiation hit the ISS?

Does Earth's magnetic field block (or divert) only lower energy radiation while the hardest, high speed heavy ions, run through to LEO? Are the hardest rays dampened? Do the van Allen Belts, not far ...
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1answer
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How does methane and LOX compare to water for radiation shielding

We tend to assume that water and human waste are an ideal shield for interplanetary trips. Mostly because we need it in the first place. However the only serious proposal does has one other element ...
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How big is the risk/potential damage from radiation on a Mars trip?

Elon Musk just announced his concept for traveling to Mars. During the Q&A he commented that the risk of radiation danger to the passengers was low. I seem to remember concerns for the ...
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How to check, if there is currently an increased solar activity?

I've got an email, that because of the increased solar activity, more cosmic ray-s are hitting the earth. And for this reason, humans experience more stress and headache. I know, it's not true. But I ...
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Could cosmic rays be produced by alien propulsion systems?

Could the cosmic radiation of heavy ions which hit us be the exhaust of advanced electric propulsion used by alien space travelers? While supernovae seem to cause part of them, much of it is far from ...
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What is the best introduction for those studying Single Event Upsets in spacecraft? [closed]

What is the best introduction for those interested in studying Single Event Effects, Upsets, and Latchups. I'm mainly interested in introductions for Electrical and Computer Engineers and designing ...
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What is the density of Hydrogenated Boron Nitride Nanotubes (H-BNNT)?

And I also wanted to ask if I constructed a wall made out of it, with GCRs and SEPs and Neutron radiation (basically every radiation in space) from the other side, how many kgs per m^2 of H-BNNT would ...
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If I spend one day beyond the Van Allen belt in an unshielded craft/spacesuit how much radiation will I be exposed to?

I am guessing it's about the same as having a medical X-ray each day, is this about right?
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How would Solar Flares affect Solar Sail navigation?

As I understand, Solar Sail runs on dual energy: light pressure and solar wind. While the former is quite deterministic and rigidly following calculations, solar flares create huge bursts of solar ...
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1answer
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How to test the impact of radiation on cubesat's electronics?

Is there a difference between the effect of different ionizing wavelengths on electronics? Can a medical accelerator be used for simulation of conditions a cubesat will be exposed to? If not what ...
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3answers
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How are nuclear thermal reactors designed for cosmic rays in space?

I was reading about thorium reactors here. It says 'Th-232 is fissionable with fast neutrons of over 1 MeV energy'. Most cosmic rays have lots more energy than that. I haven't found a reference for ...
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Mars and the radiation problems [duplicate]

I was listening to a Science Friday podcast in which the Martian movie was being discussed. The science contributors stated the radiation problems are the biggest issue for Mars exploration. Reading ...
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2answers
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Is exposure to cosmic radiation more dangerous on some body parts than on other?

Radiation causes genetic mutation and every (human) cell in our body have the same genes. But on Earth we don't get cancer as often in the foot as in the genitals or in the brain. Some parts of our ...
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1answer
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Did the Surveyor missions measure secondary radiation?

Near and on the surface of the Moon, there is not only radiation emanating from the Sun (solar wind, CME, SPE), but also deep space (cosmic) radiation. The cosmic radiation also interacts with the ...
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Is interstellar plasma a danger for future probes and astronauts?

As Voyager 1 continues its trek across interstellar space it has been reporting increased amounts of CME Plasma and Interstellar Plasma. When these two types of plasma interact a shock wave is ...
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How do the effects of different cosmic rays compare?

Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) are composed mostly of single protons (90%), helium nuclei, otherwise known as alpha particles, which are two protons and two neutrons (9%), and heavier atomic nuclei like ...
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How far do the omnidirectional Earth transmissions (TV, Radio, etc) travel before they become indistinguishable from background radiation? [closed]

When radio signals leave earth, they propagate out in a wave form. But how far they can “spread out” over distance until they become indistinguishable from background noise?
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How much power would a spacecraft's magnetic shield require?

I've read over the decades that a magnetic shield might protect a spacecraft from cosmic radiation. Its a fascinating idea that might only be theory or science fiction at the moment. In regards to ...
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1answer
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What source of raw materials could be found in space for making plastics?

Plastics are made from organic solids, and recent studies indicate that pound for pound they are a better shield against galactic cosmic rays then some metals. If you are lifting mass to orbit or ...
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Does the radiation danger in interplanetary space decrease the further you get from the sun?

Does radiation danger increase or decrease as you travel farther from the Sun? I understand that there's a significant radiation hazard to astronauts. Say, traveling from Earth to Mars, due to ...
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Is the rigorous disinfection process prior to launch necessary?

Before a rover or other exploration vehicle is launched, it undergoes rigorous cleaning and disinfection, such as a bath in UV rays to kill off bacteria. The official reasoning on this seems to be ...