Deliverables for Exploration

The Radiation Effects Team works to define risks and develop practical countermeasures for the acute, or short-term, effects of space radiation. Projects are also developing systems to monitor radiation risk, exposure levels and warn of impending exposure. Team efforts often include partnerships with other NSBRI science and technology teams.

The Teamís anticipated deliverables for spaceflight include:
  • Understanding the mechanisms and pathways of radiation effects on cells, tissues and complex biological systems;
  • Defining health risks from acute radiation exposures such as solar particle events;
  • Technologies for characterizing and monitoring the radiation environment and exposure;
  • Radiation dosimeters that provide real-time assessment of risk and are small enough to fit in a spacesuit, tool box or extravehicular activity backpack; and
  • Medical countermeasures such as dietary supplements and drugs.

The microdosimeter instrument consists of small sensors connected to an electronics board, shown here without the casing. Spacesuits integrated with this technology can warn astronauts at the onset of an elevated exposure event, assess risk, and help crews determine safe locations during these periods.