Radiation Exposure To Astronauts
Idaho State University
Department of Physics
The earth’s magnetic field protects life, which is on the earth, from much
of the radiation that is present in space. Astronauts on the other
hand are not protected so much, therefore their exposure to radiation is
much greater. There are three main sources of radiation that astronauts
have to deal with, 1) Galactic cosmic radiation, 2) Trapped radiation, and
3) solar-particle events. It would be impractical to shield a space
craft sufficiently so that radiation was not an issue, so the amount of time
that astronauts are in orbit plays a big role in radiation safety.
Dose limits are much higher for an astronaut than that of a normal radiation
worker here on earth. Limits for an astronaut, depending on age and
sex, can range from 1.0 Sv to 4.0 Sv. Much is being done in the way
of radiation safety for astronauts so that things such as deep space travel
may be practical one day.