Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Space Hazards

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Space Hazards

Article excerpt

We are all too familiar with the hazards humans face when traveling to and returning from space. Often overlooked are the dangers astronauts face every day in space. Some of those environmental hazards could affect the health of the astronauts long after they return to Earth.

On board the International Space Station, crewmembers can receive high doses of radiation from the sun and other sources. These doses can be hundreds of times greater than the levels they might experience on Earth. There are a variety of measures these explorers take to help minimize the amount of radiation they receive. For example, work outside the station is restricted when radiation levels are especially high. In addition, the station has some radiation protection materials built into its walls and personal sleep areas. These efforts combine to make the risks from radiation acceptable, but it does not completely eliminate the problem. In the future, humans traveling deep into our solar system, beyond the protection of Earth's magnetic field, will face a greater danger from radiation. …

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