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Questions tagged [cosmic-radiation]

Questions about cosmic rays and cosmic background radiation.

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Permanent living on Maglev train on the Moon as a colony

NASA is considering a proposal to build a levitating train system on the Moon. The Moon's surface is often flat and smooth. Maybe building a mobile train colony similar to the movie Snowpiercer on the ...
estinamir's user avatar
  • 401
0 votes
1 answer
64 views

Cislunar and deep space background radiation

What is the least amount of daily radiation an astronaut can expect in cislunar space and/or in deep space?
Nunya Bidness's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Has depleted uranium been considered for radiation shielding in crewed spacecraft beyond LEO?

Does Depleted Uranium (DU) have a role in spacecraft shielding? Crewed spacecraft require shielding to protect crew from hazards of space, particularly: Micrometors. The chief defense is a Whipple ...
Woody's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can cosmic ray muons be used to replace GPS for positioning information in 3D on Earth and underwater?

Task & Purpose's The Navy is testing a GPS-like device that doesn’t require satellites “The future is extremely bright for this line of research." begins: The Navy is researching a new ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
188 views

Are valleys a good alternative to caves for radiation shielding?

Lava tube systems and caves have been discussed a lot when it comes to establishing a base on the Moon or Mars in order to protect it from the continuous exposure to lethal radiation, as well as ...
we'll see's user avatar
  • 477
6 votes
0 answers
108 views

How was the high rate of degradation of Hubble's main mirror initially predicted? Why did it turn out to be lower? Were cosmic rays really a concern?

This answer to How long was the HST initially supposed to work? in Astronomy SE quotes Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report as follows: Hubble was ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
298 views

Does cosmic radiation have a predominant 'direction of origin'?

Considering some speculative designs, and am going through radiation-shielding options. It seems that, other than during solar flare activity, the main thing to protect against on a day-to-day basis ...
nirurin's user avatar
  • 459
0 votes
2 answers
150 views

Using inflatable balloons to collect hydrogen from space as a simple solution for radiation shielding

I've seen this video where around the 4:59 mark it states hydrogen is the "best element" to protect humans from cosmic rays: Even if it's not completely true,...
PiEye's user avatar
  • 27
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

Could the phosphorus in phosphine in the Venus atmosphere probably produced by cosmic ray spallation of sulfur? [closed]

Reading the following questions and their answers: Why wasn't the phosphine in Venus' atmosphere detected by space probes? Phosphine, yes -- but where are the organic compounds on Venus? the ...
Kav's user avatar
  • 279
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How radioactive is surface regolith on the Moon?

Use of regolith for shielding from cosmic radiation seems the most practical solution for perspective lunar surface bases. But lunar regolith should gather some secondary radiation while being ...
Heopps's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Active magnetic protection against cosmic radiation - Can anyone provide articles or summarize the latest developments?

A European project purports to have a practical magnetic shield for cosmic rays, based on four MgB2 toroidL coils1 oriented around the spacecraft like the lines of longitude around the globe. I can't ...
DrBunny's user avatar
  • 179
4 votes
1 answer
379 views

When the magnetic poles of the Sun flip (once in 11 years), is the Earth hit by more galactic cosmic rays?

The Sun protects us from cosmic rays from beyond the solar system. Every 11 years, the Sun's poles reverse. Solar cosmic rays are greatest during the reversal. During the reversal, are we hit by more ...
Deschele Schilder's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

How do deep-space spacecraft and space stations protect the crew and electronic equipment from radiation during long-duration missions?

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 ...
Frank W's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
226 views

Could a spacesuit similar to the suit of Felix Baumgartner be used on the Moon and Mars?

Felix Baumgartner, who jumped from the upper stratosphere in the Red Bull Stratos project, wore a pressurized suit in which he could obviously do better than Apollo's astronauts in their A7L and A7LB ...
LoveForChrist's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
199 views

What are the cutting edge materials & strategies which could be used for radiation shielding on long-duration missions?

Astronauts on future long-duration missions will be exposed to different kinds of ionizing radiations, Earth's plasmashpere and Van Allens radiation belts, solar flares and galactic cosmic rays. What ...
WOW 6EQUJ5's user avatar
  • 2,321
2 votes
1 answer
330 views

Space-borne electromagnetic lens to focus energetic charged particles

Is it feasible to build a spaceborne electromagnetic lens (such as but not limited to a solenoid) of large area (perhaps as large as the ring at the supercollider at CERN) to gather and intensify ...
DrBunny's user avatar
  • 179
48 votes
3 answers
13k views

Why don't we shield existing CPUs from radiation instead of designing new ones?

I've just read this article about space-graded CPUs [1]. I am not a space expert at all but a question was born naturally: why don't we prefer to shield earth-designed CPUs (far less expensive) than ...
mattia.b89's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
128 views

How strong would a magnetic field have to be to protect interplanetary craft?

The following suggests that this is a possible idea to protect crew on interstellar space flight: Is NASA doing research on "mini-magnetospheres" to protect crew from radiation in space? ...
Chthonic One's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
56 views

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 ...
T3db0t's user avatar
  • 109
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
Matt Clark's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
ivric's user avatar
  • 123
5 votes
2 answers
468 views

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 ...
TheNaturalTanuki's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
322 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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44 votes
5 answers
24k views

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 ...
r2_d2's user avatar
  • 779
4 votes
1 answer
810 views

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 ...
Tim Biegeleisen's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
474 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+). ...
a.t.'s user avatar
  • 549
0 votes
3 answers
685 views

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 ...
drandrul's user avatar
  • 658
5 votes
3 answers
4k views

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 ...
Nick Gaug's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

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?
Haalef's user avatar
  • 283
2 votes
1 answer
107 views

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 ...
James Anderson's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
119 views

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 ...
0tyranny0poverty's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
386 views

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. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
16 votes
1 answer
629 views

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 ...
kim holder's user avatar
  • 21.4k
15 votes
6 answers
9k views

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 ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55.1k
3 votes
1 answer
209 views

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 ...
A. Flowers's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
607 views

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 ...
Slippers's user avatar
  • 123
1 vote
0 answers
115 views

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 ...
Abraham Brookes's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
357 views

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 ...
Antzi's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
Ashlar's user avatar
  • 376
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
Iter Ator's user avatar
  • 821
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
57 views

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 ...
Daniel Arnett's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
VSA's user avatar
  • 33
0 votes
2 answers
214 views

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?
Silaz's user avatar
  • 1
5 votes
1 answer
322 views

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 ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55.1k
12 votes
1 answer
794 views

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 ...
Chumanista's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
670 views

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 ...
kim holder's user avatar
  • 21.4k
4 votes
0 answers
139 views

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 ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
2 answers
257 views

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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar