Researchers Finally Measured Radiation Levels On the Moon. They're High.

Researchers Finally Measured Radiation Levels On the Moon. They're High.

Slashdot reader DevNull127 writes: Scientists were able to, for the first time, measure radiation levels on the lunar surface, reports UPI, and nine days ago they published their results: that the radiation levels on the moon are 200 times stronger than on earth — and 2.6 times higher than those on space station. One of the scientists behind the study calls that exposure level “considerable.” On the moon there’s radiation from galactic cosmic rays, from solar particle events, and also a third component from the interaction of that radiation with the lunar soil.
“We humans are not really made to withstand space radiation,” study co-author Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, a researcher at Kiel University in Germany, tells UPI. “However, astronauts can and should shield themselves as far as possible during longer stays on the moon, for example by covering their habitat with a thick layer of lunar soil.”
Or, as Business Insider puts it, “Scientists say a lunar base should be built underground to protect astronauts.” Wimmer-Schweingruber tells them that “If you think about people staying on the moon for extended periods of time — say, on a scientific research station for a year or two — then these levels start getting problematic. Covering your habitat with sufficient amounts of lunar dirt should do the trick…. Ideally you’d like to be under as much material as is equivalent to Earth’s atmosphere,” Wimmer-Schweingruber said, adding that “an optimal depth is 30 inches of lunar soil.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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