Earth Applications

Like spaceflight, radiation exposure is a concern in the health industry and other occupations on Earth. The Radiation Effects Teamís research benefits for life on Earth are:
  • Improved understanding of radiation-related cellular, molecular and tissue damage;
  • Development and testing of drugs that, if proven successful in managing the adverse effects of proton radiation, may lead to improved responses for patients undergoing proton radiation therapy;
  • Characterization of radiation environments, such as radiation therapy treatment fields, commercial flights, nuclear industry and national security threats; and
  • Countermeasures for the adverse effects of radiation for people exposed to higher-than-normal levels of radiation, such as occupational exposures, airline crews, persons undergoing radiation therapy, and casualties from nuclear accidents or national security threats.

NSBRI is developing real-time radiation detectors for use in space that will be small enough to be portable in a spacesuit or stationary as an area monitor. This photo shows three models of NSBRI dosimeters (gold objects, center) with other NASA detectors as they are being tested at a particle accelerator that simulates space radiation. This technology will be beneficial to patients during radiotherapy, and has use for Homeland Security, high-altitude aviation and the nuclear energy industry.