Space Radiation Shielding strategies and Requirements for Deep Space Missions 891433
The ultimate limitation to manned exploration of the solar system will likely be cumulative exposure of the crews to penetrating space radiations. The two major sources of these radiations during deep-space missions are solar particle events (flares) and galactic cosmic rays. Methods to estimate crew exposures and to evaluate concomitant shield requirements for these radiation sources are currently under development. Consisting of deterministic space radiation transport computer codes and accurate models of their nuclear interaction inputs, these calculational tools are employed to estimate the composition and thicknesses of candidate shield materials required for spacecraft equipment and crew protection. In this paper, the current status of model and code development is summarized, preliminary estimates of deep-space shield requirements are presented, and an assessment of radiation protection as a potential “showstopper” for manned deep-space missions will be made.