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Planet Earth is protected from cosmic radiation by a combination of active and passive shields. Together they reduce the absorbed dose by a factor of 50 when compared to the levels absorbed by astronauts on the International Space Station.

The passive component is provided by

a) the shadow of the planet Earth itself, which reduces the flux by a factor of two, as well as

b) the atmosphere, which is equivalent to the thickness of 3.5 meters of aluminium also providing significant protection.

The active component is provided by the Earth’s magnetic field, which bends away the low energy components of Cosmic Rays providing the remaining protection.

The effectiveness of the magnetic deflection of Earth’s magnetic field is shown in this video (click on image below), since the large flux of energetic solar particles coming from the Sun cannot reach our planet. The SR2S protection system will act in a similar way: thanks to the combined effect of the passive and active shields designed to protect the habitation module, astronauts will be able to travel for longer distances in deep space without exceeding the permitted dose levels and protected from the deadly effects of sudden solar events. An SR2S spacecraft will be a microscopic Earth environment traveling to deep space.

The clip is available to download at different resolutions from:

nasa cre play

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


Radiation issues for manned Mars mission

sidebar radiation article

During the rover's cruise to Mars between December 2011 and July 2012, RAD showed that an astronaut would clock up the same radiation dose in a day that the average American receives in a year. If you exclude medical dosages, it would be 10 times more than the average American.

See original article from The Guardian here.

Materials that Halt Hazardous Space Radiation

Radiation has long been an issue when it comes to space travel. In fact, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity recently confirmed previous research on the hazards of space radiation, revealing that radiation levels on the way to the Red Planet are several hundred times higher than the those humans receive on Earth. Now, scientists may have found a way to shield astronauts from the hazards of this radiation.

See original article from Science World Report here.

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Current Project Status

The SR2S project is nearing completion. Project partners presented their technological achievements at the final project dissemination event in Brussels in December 2015. To read more about this event, click here.

Next Project Milestone

The final project review meeting will take place in January 2016. Further information and final project results will be available after this date.

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