Moon is the closest step for exploration in the outer space for humans. Exposure to space radiation is a major risk for the astronauts in outer space which may affect their health in the moon.
Researchers after a lot of effort have calculated the radiation levels on the moon which is exceptionally higher. Astronauts travelling to the moon in the future will have to face two to three times more radiation than they have faced in the International Space Station.
Chang’e-4 lunar probe, photographed from the Yutu-2 rover.
The calculation of radiation on the moon was performed by China’s Chang’e 4 robotic spacecraft mission in January 2019 and published in a research in the journal Science Advances. Astronauts travelling to the moon would be exposed to a regular radiation dose of nearly 1,369 microsieverts which is 2.6 times more than the regular radiation dose at the International Space Station.
“This is an immense achievement in the sense that now we have a data set which we can use to benchmark our radiation” and better understand the potential risk to people on the moon, said Thomas Berger, a physicist with the German Space Agency’s medicine institute.
The radiation levels we measured on the Moon are about 200 times higher than on the surface of the Earth and 5 to 10 times higher than on a flight from New York to Frankfurt,” said Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber.
He also added – “Because astronauts would be exposed to these radiation levels longer than passengers or pilots on transatlantic flights, this is a considerable exposure.”
Risk of travelling to the moon –
The study revealed that radiation exposure is a vital risk for the astronaut’s well-being as the chronic exposure to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) may create health consequences like –
- Introduction of cataracts
- Cancer or degenerative diseases of the central nervous system or any other organ systems.
“Without protection to the large solar particles in a situation would cause severe intense effects,” – it added.
Will it affect the NASA’s moonwalk mission in 2024? Although, the mission has a 2-week stay plan on the moon for the astronauts and perform two moonwalks.
Will the plan be affected due to this new data?
NASA said “ The deep space vehicle will have a sport protective shielding, dosimetry and alerts.” It also added, “To fight against radiation various research are also been performed in the pharmaceuticals.”
Source – ScienceAdvances