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Technical Paper

Improvement of Risk Assessment from Space Radiation Exposure for Future Space Exploration Missions

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.
Technical Paper

Test Results of Improved Spacesuit Shielding Components

Prior studies have been performed where basic fabric lay-ups of the current Shuttle spacesuit were tested for radiation shielding capabilities. It was found that the fabric portions of the suit give far less protection from radiation than previously estimated. This is due to the porosity and non-uniformity of the fabrics and LCVG components. These findings were incorporated into the spacesuit model developed at NASA Langley Research Center to estimate exposures for mission planning and evaluation of safety during radiation field disturbance. Overall material transmission properties were also less than optimal. In order to evaluate the radiation protection characteristics of some proposed new spacesuit materials, fifteen test target combinations of current baseline and new proposed spacesuit materials were exposed to a low-energy proton beam at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Each target combination contained all of the necessary spacesuit layers, i.e.
Technical Paper

Spacesuit Radiation Shield Design Methods

Meeting radiation protection requirements during EVA is predominantly an operational issue with some potential considerations for temporary shelter. The issue of spacesuit shielding is mainly guided by the potential of accidental exposure when operational and temporary shelter considerations fail to maintain exposures within operational limits. In this case, very high exposure levels are possible which could result in observable health effects and even be life threatening. Under these assumptions, potential spacesuit radiation exposures have been studied using known historical solar particle events to gain insight on the usefulness of modification of spacesuit design in which the control of skin exposure is a critical design issue and reduction of blood forming organ exposure is desirable.
Technical Paper

Standardized Radiation Shield Design Method: 2005 HZETRN

Research committed by the Langley Research Center through 1995 resulting in the HZETRN code provides the current basis for shield design methods according to NASA STD-3000 (2005). With this new prominence, the database, basic numerical procedures, and algorithms are being re-examined with new methods of verification and validation being implemented to capture a well defined algorithm for engineering design processes to be used in this early development phase of the Bush initiative. This process provides the methodology to transform the 1995 HZETRN research code into the 2005 HZETRN engineering code to be available for these early design processes. In this paper, we will review the basic derivations including new corrections to the codes to insure improved numerical stability and provide benchmarks for code verification.
Technical Paper

Methodologies for Critical Body Organ Space Radiation Risk Assessments

One of the risks associated with long-term space flights is cancer incidence resulting from chronic exposure to space radiation. Assessment of incurred risk from radiation exposure requires quantifying the dose throughout the body. The space radiation exposure received by Space Shuttle astronauts is measured by thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) worn during every mission. These dosimeters measure the absorbed dose to the skin, but the dose to internal organs is required for estimating the cancer risk induced by space radiation. A method to extrapolate these skin dose measurements to realistic organ specific dose estimates, using the Computerized Anatomical Man (CAM) and Computerized Anatomical Female (CAF) models, is discussed in detail. A transport code, which propagates high energy nucleon and charged particles, is combined with the CAM/CAF-generated shielding areal distributions to evaluate the absorbed dose at selected organ sites.
Technical Paper

Manned Space Exploration and Life Support - Strategies, Milestones, and Limitations

A rationale will be presented,as to why a lunar base should be the next logical step of a future scenario for manned space flight preceding a flight to Mars. In this respect, the lunar base and the Mars flight examples and their life support systems will be addressed. An overview of past experiences, especially Apollo, and the current knowledge is given concerning both lunar missions and life support systems. Also, critical areas of mission design and preparation, like the necessity of precursor missions, the potential of resource utilization, radiation shielding, and life support system evolution, are addressed. This paper decribes a general development scenario for future manned missions to the Moon and Mars and why a “dress rehearsal” of a mission to Mars in the Earth-Moon-system will be necessary, and what lessons can be learned from the development of a lunar base for missions to Mars.