[ RadSafe ] " NRC Urges Close Cooperation On Astronaut Radiation Safety "

Jaro jaro-10kbq at sympatico.ca
Sun Oct 29 22:04:15 CST 2006

NRC Urges Close Cooperation On Astronaut Radiation Safety
Aviation Week & Space Technology, 10/30/2006, page 15
Edited by Frank Morring, Jr.

NASA's space operations organization and the solar and space physics
community will need better coordination to protect crews from space
radiation once astronauts start spending extended periods on the Moon and in
transit to other bodies, the National Research Council warns. For now,
predicting solar activity and space weather is hampered by poor
understanding of how the Sun affects the heliosphere and the environments of
Earth and Mars, according to the report. "Scientific progress in this field,
leading to accurate long-term and short-term predictions of the space
radiation environment, is required if solar and space physics scientists are
to make the significant contribution required of them by human exploration
missions," the NRC panel finds. A powerful solar flare that occurred on Aug.
4, 1972--between the Apollo 16 and 17 lunar-landing missions--would have
posed a serious hazard to any spacesuited astronauts on the Moon's surface,
the NRC says. Had they been exposed, the estimated radiation dose could have
resulted in serious skin damage, including blistering and peeling, as well
as nausea and vomiting. NASA is required by law to limit radiation exposure
to humans in space and to come up with appropriate risk mitigation measures.
Its Space Radiation Analysis Group at Johnson Space Center is responsible
for ensuring that astronaut radiation exposure remains below established
safety limits.

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