Improvement of Risk Assessment from Space Radiation Exposure for Future Space Exploration Missions 2007-01-3116
Protecting astronauts from space radiation exposure is an important challenge for mission design and operations for future exploration-class and long-duration missions. Crew members are exposed to sporadic solar particle events (SPEs) as well as to the continuous galactic cosmic radiation (GCR). If sufficient protection is not provided the radiation risk to crew members from SPEs could be significant. To improve exposure risk estimates and radiation protection from SPEs, detailed evaluations of radiation shielding properties are required. A model using a modern CAD tool ProE™, which is the leading engineering design platform at NASA, has been developed for this purpose. For the calculation of radiation exposure at a specific site, the cosine distribution was implemented to replicate the omnidirectional characteristic of the 4π particle flux on a surface. Previously, estimates of doses from SPEs to the blood forming organs (BFO) were made using an average body-shielding distribution for the bone marrow based on the computerized anatomical man (CAM) model. The development of an 82-point body-shielding distribution at BFOs made it possible to estimate the mean and variance of SPE doses in the major active marrow regions. Use of the detailed distribution of bone marrow sites and implementation of the cosine distribution of particle flux is shown to provide improved estimates of acute and cancer risks from SPEs.