China’s lander, far from the moon, provides the first full measurements of radiation exposure from the lunar surface, aimed at sending astronauts to NASA and others.
A Sino-German team reported on radiation data collected by a lander named Chang 4 for the Chinese lunar deity – in the American journal Science Advance.
“This is a great achievement, and now we have a database to use to measure our radiation,” said Thomas Berger, a physicist with the German Space Agency’s medical institute.
Astronauts receive 200 to 1,000 times more radiation than we experience on Earth – or five to 10 times more than passengers on a trans-Atlantic flight, said Robert Wimmer-Swingroofer of the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany.
“However, the difference is that we are not on such a plane as long as the astronauts are on the moon,” Wimmer-Swingrooper said in an email.
The primary risk is cancer.
“Humans were not actually created for these radiation levels and need to protect themselves while on the moon,” he added.
Radiation levels should be uniform throughout the moon, except near the walls of deep craters, Wimmer-Swingrooper said.
“Basically, the less you see the sky, the better. That’s the primary source of radiation,” he said.
Wimmer-Swingrooper said the radiation levels were closer than the models predicted.
Kerry Lee, an astronaut at the Johnson Space Center, said the dimensions measured by Song 4 were, in fact, “almost exactly agree” with the findings of an inventor in NASA’s orbit around the moon for more than a decade. In Houston.
“Confirming what we think and our understanding of how radiation interacts with the moon is as expected,” said Li, who is not involved in the Chinese-led study.
In a detailed outline released this week, the first pair of astronauts to land on the moon under the new Artemis program will spend a week on the lunar surface, more than twice as much as the Apollo crews did half a century ago. The trip will take one to two months once a base camp is established.
NASA expects to put astronauts on the moon by the end of 2024, the fastest speed ever ordered by the White House, and by 2030 on Mars.
The space agency says there will be a safe haven for radiation detectors and all Orion crew capsules flying to the moon. As for the real Landers, the three separate corporate teams are developing their own crafts under NASA supervision. For the first Artemis moon landing, at least, the astronauts will live in the climbing area of their lander.
German researchers recommend shelters built of moon dirt – an readily available material – to stay on for more than a few days. They said the walls should be 80 centimeters thick.
Any thickness and dirt will emit its own secondary radiation, which will be generated when the galaxy’s cosmic rays interact with the lunar soil.
“So in this sense – I think the walls of European palaces are much thicker,” Berger wrote in an email.