Moon explorers in the future to face hazardous radiation

Moon explorers in the future will be exposed two to three times more radiation than usual.

Researchers reveal that moon explorers in the future will be exposed two to three times more radiation. They will also face ultrahazardous radiation levels than astronauts traveling the International Space Station, a health hazard that will require thick-walled shelter for protection.

China’s lander provides the first detailed measurements of the intense radiation from the lunar surface on the moon’s far side. This is a piece of vital information for others who are trying hard to prepare and plan to send astronauts to the moon, like NASA.

Luna’s shocking revelation

A Chinese-German team reported on the radiation data collected by the lander named Chang’e 4 in the U.S. journal Science Advances.

A new dosimeter operated by Wimmer-Schweingruber noted that astronauts would be exposed roughly 200 to 1,000 times the radiation levels as people on Earth.

ABC News reported that Thomas Berger, a physicist with the German Space Agency’s medicine institute, said, “This is an immense achievement in the sense that now we have a data set which we can use to benchmark our radiation, and understand appropriately about the potential hazard to people on the moon.”

Wimmer-Schweingruber added in an email, “The difference is, however, that we’re not on such a flight for as long as astronauts would be when they’re exploring the moon.”

Cancer: Primary risk

Furthermore, Wimmer-Schweingruber noted that humans are not made to be exposed to these high-level radiations. They should cover and protect themselves, particularly when on revealing to the moon. He also said that the moon would not be the same radiation level for the places near the walls of deep craters.

However, the other sites remain at the same radiational level. The more you see of the sky, the more exposure of the radiation you get, he appended in his statement.

“It is nice to see confirmation of what we think and our understanding of how radiation interacts with the moon is as expected,” said Kerry Lee, a space radiation expert at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA’s plan to put astronauts on Moon and Mars

The White House ordered NASA to send astronauts to the moon by the end of 2024, and on Mars in the early 2030s.

With NASA’s Artemis program intending for long-term stays, the German researchers recommend shelters composed of moon dirt for stays of more than a few days. They also said that the walls should be 80 centimeters thick.

“So in this sense — I think the walls of European Castles would be too thick!” Berger wrote in an email.

Image courtesy of John T Callery/Shutterstock

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