The Effects of Solar Radiation

Topics: Sun, Moon, Apollo program Pages: 2 (773 words) Published: September 1, 2008
The word 'radiation' has to do with energy or matter moving through space. Space radiation affects astronauts when an amount of radiation gets through the walls of a space shuttle or station and enters the body. Solar radiation usually affects astronauts walking in space, outside of their space shuttles, but sometimes it can even affect the people on Earth, causing electricity failures. Many people - astronauts mostly- fear the consequences of solar radiation, due to the fact that solar radiation can cause dangerous effects to one's health. Even though sometimes the effects are so minor, you can barely tell that they are there.

For astronauts, space radiation effects have to do with the amount of radiation that get through the walls of the space shuttle or space station and enter into the body of the astronaut. Most people have a major fear of radiation and its effects. No matter where you live, you receive a free dose each day of environmental radiation which adds up to 360 millirems per year, and you have no control over this. During the Apollo program, there were several near-misses between the astronauts walking on the surface of the Moon and a deadly solar storm event. The Apollo 12 astronauts walked on the Moon only a few short weeks after a major solar proton flare would have bathed the astronauts in a 100 rem blast of radiation. Another major flare that occurred half way between the Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 moonwalks would have had a much more deadly outcome had it arrived while astronauts were outside their spacecraft. Within a few minutes, the astronauts would have been killed on the spot with an incredible 7000 rem blast of radiation. Some of the more minor effects are unnoticeable. The effect of solar radiation is based on the weather in space. Therefore, it varies. You wouldn’t want to be caught outside in space when a space storm begins!

The direct effects of solar flares are mainly related to most wireless and radio transmissions. Solar flares...
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