NASA has created a space radiation simulator where researchers can speed up understanding of radiation risks astronauts face, and develop techniques to reduce those risks, as they head to the Moon under the Artemis Program and prepare for future missions to Mars.
Based on new technology and an innovative design for creating a broad spectrum of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), the new space radiation simulator was developed through collaborations with world-leading space radiation researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia and the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York.
Scientists use beams of ions to simulate cosmic rays and assess the risks of space radiation to human space travelers and equipment. (Brookhaven National Lab)
Beyond Earth’s protective magnetosphere, GCRs are an ever-present form of space radiation comprising energetic protons and heavier elements.