science

We finally know how much radiation is on the moon, which is not big news

As the United States prepares to send humans back to the moon in this decade, one of the biggest dangers facing future astronauts is space radiation, which can have long-lasting health effects from cataracts. Cancer And neurodegenerative diseases.

Although the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s proved that it was safe for people to spend a few days on the lunar surface, NASA did not take daily radiation measurements, which could help scientists measure how long they could stay.

This question was resolved after it was published in the Sino-German Committee Magazine on Friday Scientific advances A results Test Launched in 2019 by China’s Chang’e4 Lander.

“The moon’s radiation is two to three times higher than that of the ISS (International Space Station),” said Robert Wimmer-Swingrooper, an associate professor of astronomy at the University of Kiel.

“This limits you to staying on the surface of the moon for about two months,” he added, taking into account radiation exposure from approximately one week’s travel and one week ago.

There are many sources for radiation exposure: galactic cosmic rays, occasional solar particle events (e.g. from solar flares), and neutrons and gamma rays from interactions between space radiation and the lunar surface.

The unit of radiation is measured using Sievert, which measures the amount absorbed by human tissues.

The team found that radiation exposure to the moon was 1,369 microsaver per day – about 2.6 times the daily size of the International Space Station staff.

This is because the ISS is still somewhat protected by the Earth’s protective magnetic bubble, known as the magnetic field, which diverts most of the radiation from space.

The Earth’s atmosphere provides extra protection for humans on the surface, but the more we go the more exposed we are.

“The amount of radiation we measure on the moon is 200 times higher than the Earth’s surface and five to 10 times higher than the flight from New York to Frankfurt,” Wimmer-Swingrooper said.

NASA plans to bring humans to the moon by 2024 under the Artemis mission, and has plans for a long-term existence where astronauts will work and live on the surface.

According to the Wimmer-Swingrooper, if humans want to spend more than two or three months, there is a job: create them by covering the protected habitats with 80 cm (30 inches) of lunar soil.

© Agencies France-Press

Phil Schwartz

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