A new study has explored the amount of radiation that will be faced by astronauts on the lunar surface. The astronauts will be exposed to 60 microsieverts per hour, which is up to 200 times the amount of radiation present on the surface of our planet.
Extended stays on the surface of the Moon will lead to high doses of radiation. Previous research has inferred that radiation is relatively high on the Moon since it lacks the presence of an atmosphere or magnetic field that could shield it.
New information has been collected with the help of the Lander Neutron and Dosimetry (also known as LND), a tool present among a lander included in the Chang’3 4 moon mission, which was the first to complete a soft touchdown on the dark side of the Moon.
Since the LND is protected by a partial shield, the values which are detected are similar to the ones that could be encountered in a spacesuit. Around 75% of the radiation present on the Moon comes from galactic cosmic rays, which are released by distant supernova events.
Not an obstacle
The Artemis program includes the goal to return to the surface of the Moon by 2024, as well as the establishment of a permanent base. By creating a permanent outpost on space NASA and other space agencies will gain access to a strategic launch site for more distant missions.
While older astronauts could face a substantially higher amount of radiation, even young astronauts could spend up to 700 days on the surface of the Moon before they reach the lifetime exposure limit. NASA will also make safe schedules that would limit the exposure to radiation for astronauts, as is the case case for ISS astronauts, who aren’t exposed to more than 50,000 microsieverts per year.
The study has been published in a scientific journal.