Space Radiation is hazardous for humans

Space Radiation is hazardous for humans

A lot of research is being carried out by scientists to get as much information as possible of space radiation. Owing to the research, now scientists have better knowledge of space environment, its effects. Currently, they are working on to come up with best ways to protect astronauts.

Ruthan Lewis, an architect and engineer with the human spaceflight program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said that the space radiation environment is an important aspect for astronauts.

As per experts, radiations are waves that pass on energy to another entity then whether it is an astronaut or spacecraft part. Particle radiation is the main concern, as energetic particles can be dangerous to humans as they pass right through the skin damaging cells or DNA. It means that there is an increased risk for cancer later in life.

Jonathan Pellish, a space radiation engineer at Goddard, said, “There's a lot of good science to be done on Mars, but a trip to interplanetary space carries more radiation risk than working in low-Earth orbit”.

A human mission to Mars will require sending astronauts to interplanetary space for at least a year. During that time period, they will be outside magnetosphere and facing harsh radiation environment of space.

There are ways available for protection, but they have their pros and cons. Sheila Thibeault, a materials researcher at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, was of the view that they are working to reduce and shield against the energetic particles. But they are in working phase.

"We've made progress on reducing and shielding against these energetic particles, but we're still working on finding a material that is a good shield and can act as the primary structure of the spacecraft," said Sheila Thibeault, a materials researcher at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
"Ultimately, the solution to radiation will have to be a combination of things," said Pellish. "Some of the solutions are technology we have already, like hydrogen-rich materials, but some of it will necessarily be cutting edge concepts that we haven't even thought of yet."