Ever since Victor Hess discovered cosmic rays in 1912, scientists have come to realize that space radiation is one of the most formidable hazards during long-duration space travel. A typical astronaut aboard the International Space Station, even while protected by the craft's outer hull and Earth's magnetosphere, absorbs as much radiation in a six-month stay as we ground-dwellers do in 20 years. Head deeper into space — say, on a mission to a nearby asteroid or to Mars — and the risks are magnified considerably.
The findings come from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) that took an 8½-month ride to Mars aboard NASA's Curiosity rover. During that long cruise, RAD was installed inside Curiosity, which in turn was sandwiched inside a coccoon-like aeroshell with the rocket-propelled descent stage over it and a thick heat shield below it. This gave RAD shielding from space radiation much like what NASA engineers are building into the forthcoming Orion crew capsule.
More - Link >>> http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Radiation-Risks-for-Future-Marsonauts-210142731.html
Source: Sky and Telescope Magazine.
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