The potential for radiation exposure is highly variable, being dependent upon both time and location. In the solar system outside the earth's protective atmosphere, the sun is the primary source of ionizing radiation. The intensity of radiation depends upon distance from the sun and on the level of solar activity. During times of peak sun-spot activity, levels of radiation sufficiently high to give moonwalkers a lethal dose in relatively short exposure periods have occured. To provide a safe environment for crew members in space, the exposure time and intensity can be limited to minimize harmful effects. Shielding can be used to reduce the intensity of radiation exposure. See also Week 6 of this online course.
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Curator: Al Globus
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