Affordable Access

Access to the full text

MISSION TO MARS: RADIATION SAFETY OR RADIATION DISASTER? SPACE TRANSIT AND MARS RADIATION EXPOSURE RISKS – THE POTENTIAL SHIELDING EFFECT OF AN INTRAVEHICULAR GRAPHENE SPACE SUIT AND A STORM SHELTER DURING SPACE TRAVEL

Authors
  • Squire, Tim1, 2
  • Buchanan, Grant1, 3
  • Elsaleh, Hany1, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • 1 The Canberra Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology, Garran. Australian Capital Territory. , (Australia)
  • 2 University of Notre Dame Australia, School of Medicine, Darlinghurst. New South Wales. , (Australia)
  • 3 John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra. Australian Capital Territory , (Australia)
  • 4 Australian National University. College of Medicine, Biology & Environment, Canberra. Australian Capital Territory , (Australia)
  • 5 The Alfred Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology, Melbourne. Victoria , (Australia)
  • 6 Monash University, Melbourne. Victoria , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine
Publisher
Exeley Inc.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
Volume
11
Pages
1–9
Identifiers
DOI: 10.21307/asam-2019-001
Source
Exeley
License
Green

Abstract

Aim The purpose of this research was to employ radiobiological as well as physics principles to investigate materials for an intravehicular spacesuit and a “storm shelter” that might minimize radiation exposure to astronauts during a mission to Mars. Methods NASA’s OLTARIS space radiation modelling tool was used to investigate thirty-two potential shielding materials. Radiation exposure was estimated during a return transit to Mars of 360 days duration. We assessed each shielding material by its ability to decrease effective radiation dose received by a computerized phantom during the constant galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) and a single solar particle event (SPE). For the “storm shelter” a large liquid fuel tank was modelled adjacent to the phantom during a SPE. Results At standard conditions, graphene appeared to be a promising shielding material when comparing other materials including polyethylene and lithium. The shielding efficacy became comparable to polyethylene but inferior to lithium when materials were normalised to 10g/cm2, 20g/cm2 and 30g/cm2. The graphene around the phantom reduced effective dose from GCR compared with an unshielded transit by 34% (162mSv/yr vs 213.3mSv/yr). A “storm shelter” using a liquid fuel tank was positioned to create a barrier adjacent to the astronauts. The liquid barrier reduced effective dose by 98.8% (44mSv vs 3614mSv). Other mitigation strategies were deduced and divided into launch, transit and habitation considerations. Conclusion A graphene based intravehicular suit could decrease astronaut exposure to harmful radiation during transit to Mars. A storm shelter using fuel as a barrier also decreased radiation dose during a solar particle event.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times