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H-K_47 t1_j6n9h9w wrote

> Artemis’ Orion has been designed with an array of features to protect both humans and hardware in a worst-case scenario. A stowage bag or other material found onboard might be used to construct a temporary radiation shelter inside the spacecraft.

> As per NASA, the crew might need to stay in this storm shelter for at least a day. Extreme space weather would not prevent the crew from carrying out "critical mission activities," though, thanks to the protective radiation vests.

That's good. Hope it's enough.

> During periods of severe solar activity, astronauts might potentially construct a shielded habitat using local resources, such as lunar soil, dirt, and rocks. For instance, walls about one meter thick can be built by 3D printing building blocks from lunar dust (regolith).

They'll need to pack a fair amount of equipment and spend some time setting this up, but it would be worthwhile.

The initial HLS lander should also be big enough to fit in some kind of hardy radiation protection room as well. Astronauts on a moonwalk should have enough warning time to return to the lander and take shelter.


A_Vandalay t1_j6ntmh2 wrote

This is one of the primary advantages starship will have over other lunar landers. The sheer mass of the ship will allow you to devote a significant amount of payload as primarily a radiation shelter.


do0tz t1_j6oinfq wrote

What kind of 3d printer do they use for that?


Marcbmann t1_j6o392g wrote

SpaceX has discussed how to handle radiation storms in Starship. I believe that was specific to while in flight. Might have been from before they were selected for HLS. But obviously something they've been thinking about.


VoraciousTrees t1_j6owvni wrote

Yeah, but the lander equipment still needs to be functional afterwards as well.


wanderlustcub t1_j6n9e1r wrote

I wouldn’t call 4 months time “narrowly avoided”. That’s a third of Earth’s orbit after all.


KmartQuality t1_j6omryq wrote

There's no special reason the flight wouldn't have been aloft 4 months earlier or the flare happened 4 months later.

Substitute 18 years (or 4 days) for 4 months and the sentence is the same.


rocketsocks t1_j6pa4gg wrote

There wasn't exactly a fixed schedule for Apollo missions, they could happen during any time of the year (within the launch windows during each lunar period, of course), there's nothing that would have prevented a launch from happening during that 4 month period other than just luck. The operational cadence of the program resulted in no missions happening at that time, but they could have.


EricFromOuterSpace OP t1_j6n9oq9 wrote

I read it as narrow, like, in cosmic time.

If you're talking about getting unlucky with the sun, 4 months is pretty narrow.


wanderlustcub t1_j6nbmi5 wrote

But we are talking space weather, which is much more dynamic and fluid. That timescale is more on the par of days. Sometimes hours. That’s why I felt it was a strange phrase to use.


EricFromOuterSpace OP t1_j6nc9hk wrote

Gotcha — yea you are probably right that space weather is chaotic and something is happening all the time, but this one seems to have been particularly intense:

A series of intense solar flares exploded intermittently for more than a week. A solar flare is an outburst of charged particles from the Sun’s turbulent surface. There are five classes: A, B, C, M, and X, ranging in size from the smallest to the most dangerous. The intense solar storm of 1972, which was an X-class flare, originated from a sunspot named MR 11976.


stellarinterstitium t1_j6nkbci wrote

The exigencies of this circumstance were depicted in the show "For All Mankind" on AppleTV. Season 2, Episode 1.


earlgreyhot1701 t1_j6p40cj wrote

And it was wild. I really wonder if regolith would dance like that.


entered_bubble_50 t1_j6oxz72 wrote

Fortunately, even the relatively thin wall of the Apollo spacecraft would have attenuated the radiation significantly, since the radiation from solar storms is mostly beta:

> The solar storm of August 1972 is legendary at NASA because it occurred in between two Apollo missions: the crew of Apollo 16 had returned to Earth in April and the crew of Apollo 17 was preparing for a moon landing in December.

> Cucinotta estimates that a moonwalker caught in the August 1972 storm might have absorbed 400 rem. Deadly? "Not necessarily," he says. A quick trip back to Earth for medical care could have saved the hypothetical astronaut's life.

> Surely, though, no astronaut is going to walk around on the moon when there's a giant sunspot threatening to explode. "They're going to stay inside their spaceship (or habitat)," according to Cucinotta. An Apollo command module with its aluminum hull would have attenuated the 1972 storm from 400 rem to less than 35 rem at the astronaut's blood-forming organs. That's the difference between needing a bone marrow transplant, or having a headache.

Courtesy of NASA


IsraelZulu t1_j6n8j1p wrote

Same problem needs to be solved if we want to get to Mars, or beyond, so...


A_Vandalay t1_j6nv9xt wrote

Yes, but we have good tools to solve this now. NASA has put a lot of research into designing space craft in such a way as to utilize all required mass as shielding. Furthermore SpaceXs starship that is actively being designed with lunar/Martian landings in mind and the sheer scale of this spacecraft gives you a lot of capacity to bring mass only as shielding. While this is a problem it’s absolutely a solvable one and far from the greatest hurdle to a mars mission.


Raspberry-Famous t1_j6o8u52 wrote

Even more difficult when it comes to Mars because of the long transit times. We can predict solar activity reasonably well in the short term and the Apollo missions were short enough that we could have just delayed a mission if conditions on the sun looked dicey.


alvinofdiaspar t1_j6nb3fq wrote

Not sure if that was the inspiration for the fictional Apollo 18 mission in James Michener’s Space?


lilrabbitfoofoo t1_j6niymk wrote

We did not evolve in space. Like 99% of that environment will just outright kill us, folks.


RustyShackleford131 t1_j6nttzh wrote

We are currently evolving in space. Evolution never stops. Technology is a part of our evolution.


lilrabbitfoofoo t1_j6ny0aw wrote

> We are currently evolving in space.

We are not.

>Evolution never stops.

This is true.

>Technology is a part of our evolution.

It is not.

Machines (or human consciousness in machines) is the future of all space exploration beyond this solar system.


BallessPacman t1_j6oz4d2 wrote

I disagree, I think it is more likely we progress like how they did in the "Expanse" Novel/TV Show. Further exploration would be made by charting out with near 1c probes followed by near 1c ships abusing time dilation.


phasechanges t1_j6oakhv wrote

Interesting article but kind of amateurish IMO. FTA: "....height of 600km and extends to 6,000km....". Later in the same paragraph: " ...Space Station remains untouched and shielded in low-Earth Orbit at 230 miles....". Likewise the reference about 25,000 km/hr being "the optimal speed" actually just links to a grade school math exercise that mentions that speed.

Maybe I'm just having a bad day.


mcoombes314 t1_j6ovnct wrote

And who thinks it's a good idea to give one value in km and the other in miles? Either stick to one or do both.


Musicfan637 t1_j6nj5dr wrote

And we’re trying to make outposts on the moon? Knowing this info? What’s the plan?


[deleted] t1_j6nqxor wrote

The concept is simple, you just include an emergency shelter with higher radiation shielding. Solar storms don't last for long.

The execution of that concept is more nuanced, but for a lunar outpost, the easiest solution is simply to build a bunker into (by digging) or out of (by forming a concrete) the lunar soil.


Schyte96 t1_j6oqcif wrote

On planets or the moon: Underground. Dirt and rocks make for good radiation shielding. On spacecraft that fly for long (such as to Mars) probably water tanks. Water is also an ok radiation shield. Not as good as a dense metal, but it's also something you will need to bring anyways.

There is also an electromagnetic radiation shield NASA is working on. I think there were some news on it about a year or so ago.