Image Caption: Solar storms, like this coronal mass ejection, can propel a billion tons of charged particles and radiation into space. Occasionally, these eruptions are directed towards Earth, prompting special protective measures for astronauts aboard the International Space Station, as well as aircraft crew on transpolar flights where risk to exposure is greatest. Image Credit: NASA / Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

Neutron Radiation Detectors Placed Throughout International Space Station

December 22, 2012

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online

During his trip to the International Space Station (ISS), Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield carried with him a new set of instruments designed to help measure the amount of radiation an astronaut absorbs during a typical trip into space.

The radiation measured by the devices is called neutron radiation. It is one of the more dangerous types officials from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) explained recently in a statement, and is caused by high-energy neutron particles that are created when charged particles collide with physical matter.

“Neutron radiation is considered to be one of the most severe of all types of radiation experienced in space as it can cause biological damage,” the CSA said. “It represents approximately 30 percent of the total exposure for those aboard the station… [and] these high-energy particles can shoot through delicate body tissues, and through long-term exposure, they can damage DNA and potentially cause cataracts, bone marrow damage or even cancer.”

The instruments Hadfield and fellow crew member Roman Romanenko carried are called bubble detectors, and they are part of Radi-N2, a second-generation neutron radiation monitoring program. The two astronauts, as well as colleague Tom Marshburn and the gear, arrived safely at the station Friday following two days in orbit.

Read more: Space Radiation Detectors Placed Onboard Space Station – Space News – redOrbit.

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