MARS MISSIONS, RADIATION, & SEXFebruary 14, 2011
Ok....now that I've caught your attention with the word "sex" in the title, read this:
No doubt the Apollo "hoaxers" will latch on to this one in a heartbeat, as yet another indirect testimony to their supposition that the Apollo missions never really landed on the moon, since transiting the Van Allen Radiation Belts would have exposed the crews to dangerously high levels of radiation.
Well, before getting on to that problem, it is interesting to me that now, with manned missions to Mars and even colonization of that planet being quietly talked about and clearly on the minds of everyone's space agencies (except our own of course, which is busily and courageously blazing a path into irrelevance), that the issue of radiation is being discussed as one of the potential problems that must be addressed. In this case, the article specifically mentions protons, which would require a few centimeters of shielding. "Hmmm," I thought, "a few centimeters of shielding will make an enormously heavy vehicle." Perhaps they are planning to build the actual interplanetary capsule in space itself, rather than boost it from the Earth or the Moon.
It is here that the hoaxers will have a field day... pointing out the similar difficulties of journeys through the Van Allen Radiation Belts, and the fact that the Lunar Command and Excursion Modules were relatively thin-skinned, i.e., were not highly shielded vehicles. But then I thought, why even bother with conventional shielding against such particles? Couldn't some alternative, less heavy, form of shielding be employed? Perhaps one employing EM fields against such protons? Well....maybe... But the point here is, why does the article seem to conjure only images of conventional technologies? My guess - and it is only a guess - is that the original story has never been completely, nor properly, told, because there may have been some hidden technologies in play, and that the same problems, and solutions, are being presented in the planning for Mars Missions.