Limitations on Space Flight due to Cosmic Radiations

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 Feb 1961:
Vol. 133, Issue 3449, pp. 312-316
DOI: 10.1126/science.133.3449.312


These conclusions (10) may be summarized as follows:

1) Flight below the Van Allen belts seems reasonably safe without radiation shielding.

2) It is probably impractical to shield a rocket sufficiently to permit a man to remain in the inner Van Allen belt for more than about an hour, but it should be possible for him to go through it without serious harm.

3) Shielding for the outer Van Allen belt is possible but would have to be quite heavy if a stay of more than a few hours were contemplated.

4) The primary cosmic radiation is not intense enough to deliver a serious radiation dose, even for exposures of a few weeks, and the heavy cosmic ray primaries do not seem to present an unusual hazard.