comscore Facts of the Matter: Cosmic radiation poses threat to astronauts bound for Mars | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Facts of the Matter | Hawaii News

Facts of the Matter: Cosmic radiation poses threat to astronauts bound for Mars

  • NASA / ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2015
                                Astronauts in low-Earth orbit — aboard the International Space Station, for example — avoid the harshest effects of cosmic radiation because there is still a bit of atmosphere, as well as the Earth itself, to protect them. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly executes a spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

    NASA / ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2015

    Astronauts in low-Earth orbit — aboard the International Space Station, for example — avoid the harshest effects of cosmic radiation because there is still a bit of atmosphere, as well as the Earth itself, to protect them. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly executes a spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

Cosmic rays are not really rays. They are charged particles traveling at near the speed of light. The majority consist of protons and electrons that are ejected from the sun during solar storms. Read more

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