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Testing radiation shielding technologies

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:46 am
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Testing radiation shielding technologies 
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Post Testing radiation shielding technologies   Posted on: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:46 am
On March, the thirty first, 2008 there was an article under www.space.com titled "Space Radiation Too Deadly For Mars Mission" ( www.space.com/missionlaunches/080331-ra ... lding.html ).

In principle I agree to you, rpspeck, that the threat and danger of the usual radiation in space is overevaluated or overestimated by NASA but regarding the following I have in mind the extremely dangerous CMEs, plasma storms etc. caused by solar flares also.

Regardless of the way selected to provide protection - lunar regolith, material from asteroids, charged spheres, layers of water, layers of concrete, layers of plumbum, combinations - it may be tested and experimented relatively easyly:

There could be a capsule carrying radiation detectors and sensors for particles as well as electromagnetic radiation - those detetcors and sensor would be mounted inside as well as outside to enable comparative measurments.

This capsule first could be sent into an orbit inside the earthian radiation belts where they are most dangerous.

Next the capsule could be sent to the Moon to orbit there waiting for the next dangerous solar storm.

Third the capsule could sent into the jovian radiation belt which kill a human within minutes.

This also would alllow to launch the casule without any protection and to carry it from the Moon to where the capsule is orbiting actually. If the capsule is sent to Jupiter the layer of lunar regolith could be added in the lunar orbit first.



What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:24 pm
There should be no reason why it is not possible to install some small radiation monitors on the next craft bound for Mars to measure the dose recieved by anyone who wished to make the trip.

Going further such instruments could be added to all craft going to Mars to build up a better understanding of how radiation levels vary with sun activity or duration. There would be no need for extra craft, include monitors as secondary instruments on existing platforms.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:24 am
Hello, Andy Hill,

that's right. The capsule would have advantages though:

1. It's focussed on radiation protection technologies.
2. It's focussed on testing those technologies
3. It would be reusable to provide the opportunity to exchange the technologies to be tested - replacing water by lunar regolith, replacing concrete by lunar regolith baked by microwaves and so on.
4. It could be made heavier than possible if integrated into a Mars mission.
5. It could be equipped with tanks and an engine.

Point 5 is interesting and required for a test I forgot to list - the capsule could be temporarily sent closer to the sun - where the level of radiation permanently is higher than in the earthian/lunar orbit. How close to the sun it would go might be controlled by the level of radiation and a comparison to levels internally measured at other protection technologies, considered to be acceptable or the like.

The option to do the test as part of a Mars mission also would mean that the idea to add the protection by delivering regolith from the Moon could ot be tested. Such a test would be interesting though because it would additionally test techniques to attach the delieverd lunar regolith in-space.

By the way - I have in mind SpaceX plus Micro Space orArmadillo Aerospace as those who may be able to conduct the installation of the capsule and the deliveries.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:42 pm
Just an extension because there was an article about it - a magneticshield might be tested easyly this way.

Tests within the Earth-Moon system would be sufficient for a later manned martian trip.

...



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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:40 pm
I'm not sure that the shield itself would be easy to add to an existing mission as I seem to remember reading that the generator itself was invisaged to be about a ton in weight and that two outrigger antennas are required. The monitors I was thinking of would weigh only a couple of kgs and would not be to much of a problem to add.

If you are talking about a dedicated mission to see if the shield would work then it would be sensible to send monitors on prior missions to get a base line.

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