Mark Christl, lead on the ANS Project at Marshall (far right), demonstrates the ANS to representatives from Johnson and Marshall. Left to right: Nasser Barghougty (MSFC), Edward Semones (JSC), Chris Cianciola (MSFC), Catherine Mcleod (JSC), Bobbie Swan (JSC), and Mark Christl (MSFC).
Credit: NASA/MSFC

Protecting astronauts from space radiation

November 9, 2012 by Shannon Ridinger

(Phys.org)—The complexities of traveling to and working in space present challenges to astronauts that NASA scientists and engineers have been working on since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first stepped on the moon more than 43 years ago.

One of the challenges facing humans when they go outside Earth’s protective atmosphere and magnetic field is space radiation. Sending astronauts farther into our solar system than ever before will require advanced instruments designed for monitoring and detecting radiation in space vehicles and habitats.

NASA is tackling this problem with a renewed focus on understanding radiation in space environments. The Advanced Neutron Spectrometer, or ANS is an instrument designed to do just this. By monitoring neutrons, the team aims to build a new tool to protect astronauts as they explore new destinations.

Read more: Protecting astronauts from space radiation — phys.org.

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