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Cover of Technical Evaluation of the NASA Model for Cancer Risk to Astronauts Due to Space Radiation

Technical Evaluation of the NASA Model for Cancer Risk to Astronauts Due to Space Radiation

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Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-25305-5ISBN-10: 0-309-25305-5

NASA's current missions to the International Space Station (ISS) and potential future exploration missions involving extended stays by astronauts on the lunar surface, as well as the possibility of near- Earth object (NEO) or Mars missions, present challenges in protecting astronauts from radiation risks. These risks arise from a number of sources, including solar particle events (SPEs), galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), secondary radiation from surface impacts, and even the nuclear isotope power sources transported with the astronauts. The serious early and late radiation health effects potentially posed by these exposures are equally varied, ranging from early signs of radiation sickness to cancer induction. Other possible effects include central nervous system damage, cataracts, cardiovascular damage, heritable effects, impaired wound healing, and infertility. Recent research, much of which has been sponsored by NASA, has focused on understanding and quantifying the radiation health risks posed by space radiation environments. Although many aspects of the space radiation environments are now relatively well characterized, important uncertainties still exist regarding biological effects and thus regarding the level and types of risks faced by astronauts. This report presents an evaluation of NASA's proposed space radiation cancer risk assessment model, which is described in the 2011 NASA report, Space Radiation Cancer Risk Projections and Uncertainties--2010. The evaluation in Technical Evaluation of the NASA Model for Cancer Risk to Astronauts Due to Space Radiation considers the model components, input data (for the radiation types, estimated doses, and epidemiology), and the associated uncertainties. This report also identifies gaps in NASA's current research strategy for reducing the uncertainties in cancer induction risks.

Contents

Support for this project was provided by Contract NNH10CC48B between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the agency that provided support for the project.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK189536PMID: 24600746DOI: 10.17226/13343

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