It’s no secret that radiation is a great danger to astronauts. Most of the research to date concerns the effects of galactic cosmic rays, but what happens to those particles when they pass into a spacecraft?
A device currently being tested will reveal what kind of neutron energy spectrum astronauts are exposed to from neutrons inside a spacecraft, alerting the occupants when dangerous levels occur.
“When spacecraft travel through a variety of primary high-energy cosmic rays, large vehicles absorb those rays and convert them into neutrons,” said Dr. Richard Maurer, a researcher on the National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s (NSBRI) technology development team. “The spacecraft’s thick structure, in a sense, multiplies the primary particles so that there are more neutrons trapped inside a craft than the original number of cosmic rays that created them.”
Liesl Owens | NSBRI
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