The Official Star Trek Movie Forum

The Official Star Trek Movie Forum > Star Trek > Off Topic Discussions > Mars: Radiation would constitute a threat to astronauts?
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:46 PM
omegaman's Avatar
omegaman omegaman is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Penrith NSW Australia
Posts: 4,613
Default Mars: Radiation would constitute a threat to astronauts?

Curiosity's RADIATION detector.

Quote:
"This radiation would be hazardous to any microbes alive on the planet today, but would also constitute a threat to the health of any future astronauts on the Red Planet."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19186237

Does this rule out human exploration altogether?
__________________
TREK IS TREK. WHATEVER THE TIMELINE!

The next TV Series should be called STARFLEET!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-08-2012, 03:39 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

I'd say it just makes it impracticable at this time. I don't think technology in general has reached the point where we could do it with a reasonable margin of safety let alone cost. The other thing is that for what we're doing right now, unmanned probes can get the job done at less cost with no risk to us. It's not that we can't strive for manned missions but there's not necessarily any reason for it to be a high priority.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-08-2012, 03:47 PM
Captain Tom Coughlin's Avatar
Captain Tom Coughlin Captain Tom Coughlin is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USS Meadowlands
Posts: 10,990
Default

It's a risk in space travel in general. It's a risk on the moon and in orbit. A low earth orbit does provide protection, but the levels of radiation are still increased.
__________________


Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin : 08-08-2012 at 03:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-08-2012, 04:13 PM
Saquist's Avatar
Saquist Saquist is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11,257
Default

I don't think so. The Apollo Command Module was apparently heavily shielded.

In terms of hazard to crewmen in the heavy, well-shielded command module,
even the largest solar-particle event on record (November 12, 1960) would not have
caused any impairment of crewmember functions or ability of the crewmen to complete
their mission safely. It is estimated that within the command module during this event
the crewmen would have received a dose of 60 to 100 rads to their skin and 10 to 30 rads
to their blood-forming organs (bone and spleen)

Routine chest x-ray, per image: About 3-7 rads

__________________

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-08-2012, 05:25 PM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

As with any radiation risk, it's really a matter of minimizing exposure. Getting an x-ray isn't that bad because you aren't...or at least shouldn't be getting an x-ray all the time. It's a spike in your exposure but it shouldn't be happening often enough to start creating cumulative effects. And that's really the main issue of long term manned space flight. Can we keep the levels of exposure low enough to not have any detrimental cumulative effects.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-08-2012, 08:31 PM
Saquist's Avatar
Saquist Saquist is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11,257
Default

60 rads over the full time of the mission is pretty good.
Mars will be 3 months away and 3 months back. They'll need proper protection true.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-08-2012, 09:09 PM
omegaman's Avatar
omegaman omegaman is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Penrith NSW Australia
Posts: 4,613
Default

Is the radiation higher and more dangerous in space or on the planet?
__________________
TREK IS TREK. WHATEVER THE TIMELINE!

The next TV Series should be called STARFLEET!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-09-2012, 06:01 AM
Akula2ssn's Avatar
Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaman View Post
Is the radiation higher and more dangerous in space or on the planet?
As a rule of thumb, probably in space. However, the term radiation is a very broad term covering many different forms from different sources. Different types of radiation can require different types of shielding. Some forms at some levels, the dead outer layer of your skin is sufficient. Some require use of lead or some metal for protection. Some can actually be made worse by metal shielding (ie Bremsstrahlung effect) thus a dense plastic is the preferred choice. Part of the reason we aren't directly bombarded by cosmic rays is because of the Earth's atmosphere. I think you can actually see a measurable increase in exposure to cosmic rays in people who fly at high altitudes regularly though I'd have to check on that. Another thing that has probably helped us here on Earth is our magnetosphere. I don't think Mars even has a magnetic field anymore. We aren't even sure if it ever had plate tectonic activity. While we do see what appear to be signs of it, overall, the planet is relatively featureless, suggesting that if it did have tectonics it ceased a long time ago and many of the signs probably have since been erased due to weathering over time. On top of that I believe Mars has less mass than Earth so less gravity and likely less atmosphere so there's potential of less protection planetside.

Sources of radiation are just as variable and are all around us. Lead 210 is one source of radiation that we are constantly exposed to here on Earth. It's naturally in the air and soil.
__________________

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard

Last edited by Akula2ssn : 08-09-2012 at 06:16 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-09-2012, 01:29 PM
omegaman's Avatar
omegaman omegaman is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Penrith NSW Australia
Posts: 4,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula2ssn View Post
As a rule of thumb, probably in space. However, the term radiation is a very broad term covering many different forms from different sources. Different types of radiation can require different types of shielding. Some forms at some levels, the dead outer layer of your skin is sufficient. Some require use of lead or some metal for protection. Some can actually be made worse by metal shielding (ie Bremsstrahlung effect) thus a dense plastic is the preferred choice. Part of the reason we aren't directly bombarded by cosmic rays is because of the Earth's atmosphere. I think you can actually see a measurable increase in exposure to cosmic rays in people who fly at high altitudes regularly though I'd have to check on that. Another thing that has probably helped us here on Earth is our magnetosphere. I don't think Mars even has a magnetic field anymore. We aren't even sure if it ever had plate tectonic activity. While we do see what appear to be signs of it, overall, the planet is relatively featureless, suggesting that if it did have tectonics it ceased a long time ago and many of the signs probably have since been erased due to weathering over time. On top of that I believe Mars has less mass than Earth so less gravity and likely less atmosphere so there's potential of less protection planetside.

Sources of radiation are just as variable and are all around us. Lead 210 is one source of radiation that we are constantly exposed to here on Earth. It's naturally in the air and soil.
Thanks. That's interesting.
__________________
TREK IS TREK. WHATEVER THE TIMELINE!

The next TV Series should be called STARFLEET!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-09-2012, 03:04 PM
Saquist's Avatar
Saquist Saquist is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11,257
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akula2ssn View Post
As a rule of thumb, probably in space. However, the term radiation is a very broad term covering many different forms from different sources. Different types of radiation can require different types of shielding. Some forms at some levels, the dead outer layer of your skin is sufficient. Some require use of lead or some metal for protection. Some can actually be made worse by metal shielding (ie Bremsstrahlung effect) thus a dense plastic is the preferred choice. Part of the reason we aren't directly bombarded by cosmic rays is because of the Earth's atmosphere. I think you can actually see a measurable increase in exposure to cosmic rays in people who fly at high altitudes regularly though I'd have to check on that. Another thing that has probably helped us here on Earth is our magnetosphere. I don't think Mars even has a magnetic field anymore. We aren't even sure if it ever had plate tectonic activity. While we do see what appear to be signs of it, overall, the planet is relatively featureless, suggesting that if it did have tectonics it ceased a long time ago and many of the signs probably have since been erased due to weathering over time. On top of that I believe Mars has less mass than Earth so less gravity and likely less atmosphere so there's potential of less protection planetside.

Sources of radiation are just as variable and are all around us. Lead 210 is one source of radiation that we are constantly exposed to here on Earth. It's naturally in the air and soil.

Radiation comes in essentially 3 different varieties.
Alpha,
Beta
and Gamma Radiation.

Alpha radiation is extremely weak and can be blocked by a sheet of paper. The radiation from the aftermath of of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima detonations is this type. It last a very very long time but it's extremely weak.

Beta Radiation, is stronger than alpha and weaker than gamma radiation. Usually another type of radioactive decay from isotopes. It's penetration is more powerful and can be stopped by a few millimeters of aluminum. This is the type of radiation coming from the sun on average. Highly charged and blocked by Ozone and the Earth's shields.

Gamma Radiation is a higher frequency form of the above. In a nuclearly detonation this is part of the initial flash point, or in super nova's it is the first sign (other than neutrinos) of an explosion. They are short lived but their high frequency allows them to penetrate just about the most densest material.

The sun can put out GRB's in CME's (coronal mass ejections) but this is not common and it's a direction blast so spacecraft have to be within the line of sight of the burst.
__________________

Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:16 AM.


Forum theme courtesy of Mark Lambert
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2009 by Paramount Pictures. STAR TREK and all related
marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.