Radiation protective structures on the base of a case study for a manned Mars mission

Andreas Borggrafe, Michael Quatmann, Daniel Nölke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
207 Downloads (Pure)


Plans for interplanetary manned space missions imply significant risks arising from human's exposure to the hostile space environment. Thus the design of reliable protection systems against the ionising cosmic radiation becomes one of the most relevant issues. In this paper the composition and magnitude of the
atmospheric radiation on the planetary surface and for typical interplanetary transfer configurations have been analyzed. The investigation based on prior NASA and ESA mission results, using a manned mission to planet mars as a case study. According to this, the time-dependent character of the consistency of
cosmic radiation has been taken into account, which is justified by the interdependence of the radiation magnitude to the solar cycle. With regard to this paper it implies even solar particle events. The results have been compared to the protective character of different materials potentially usable as a habitat's structural shell and for interplanetary spacecrafts. The investigation aimed on particle energy degradation rates and reduction of secondary particle production. In this regard the physical process of absorbing effectiveness
against particle radiation has been examined by analytical calculation and given scientific results, depending on thickness and molecular composition of the materials. The most suitable materials have been used for shield design proposals using different configurations, evaluating the use of aluminium, water tanks and polyethylene bricks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1292-1305
Number of pages15
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2009


  • radiation protection
  • Mars manned mission
  • atmospheric radiation


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