THE MOON IS ABOUT 200 TIMES AS RADIOACTIVE AS THE EARTH, ACCORDING TO NEW RESEARCH.
According to CNN, for the first time scientists have determined how radioactive the Moon is – a finding that could have implications for future human space travel there.
The new data, gathered by China’s Chang’e 4 rover, reveals a lot more radiation than you’d find on Earth or even on the International Space Station. However, it is likely that some exposure, for the limited duration of a Moon trip, could still be safe.
Experts were quick to contextualize the finding of 1,369 microsieverts of radiation, published in the journal Science Advances.
“The radiation levels we measured on the Moon are about 200 times higher than on the surface of the Earth and 5 to 10 times higher than on a flight from New York to Frankfurt,” said University of Kiel physicist Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, who worked on the research, in a statement. “Because astronauts would be exposed to these radiation levels longer than passengers or pilots on transatlantic flights, this is a considerable exposure.”
According to CNN, the Apollo astronauts brought equipment to measure the radiation level on the moon, but the data was never returned to Earth.
Now, as NASA plans its Artemis missions with the goal of sending astronauts back to the Moon, it’s useful to know what future astronauts will face when they return.
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