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Health Phys. 2012 Nov;103(5):556-67. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3182690caf.

Space radiation protection issues.

Author information

  • 1Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. a_kronenberg@lbl.gov

Abstract

The complex charged particle environments in space pose considerable challenges with regard to potential health consequences that can impact mission design and crew selection. The lack of knowledge of the biological effects of different ions in isolation and in combination is a particular concern because the risk uncertainties are very high for both cancer and non-cancer late effects. Reducing the uncertainties is of high priority. Two principal components of space radiation each raise different concerns. Solar particle events (SPE) occur sporadically and are comprised primarily of low- to moderate-energy protons. Galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) is isotropic and relatively invariant in dose rate. GCR is also dominated by protons, but the energy range is wider than in SPE. In addition, the contribution of other light and heavy ions to the health risks from GCR must be addressed. This paper will introduce the principal issues under consideration for space radiation protection.

PMID:
23032885
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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