Space radiation (Credit: NASA)
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — As we prepare to send the first woman and next man to the Moon and on to Mars, NASA, with support from the University of Houston, has been working to develop advanced radiation detectors to better protect astronauts and vital spacecraft systems during solar storms. The detectors are based on technology that was originally developed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to detect particle collisions in high-energy physics experiments. Storms emanating from our Sun release invisible, high energy particles, also called ionizing radiation, into space at relativistic speeds that can damage spacecraft electronics and systems, and impact the health of astronauts.
As part of NASA’s fundamental research mission, NASA previously adopted Timepix detectors to visualize the radiation environment on the International Space Station and in deep space aboard the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) in 2014. Timepix, developed through the Medipix2 collaboration hosted at CERN, is part of the Medipix family of miniaturized particle imaging and detection chips. The detector is derived from the same technology used to track particle trajectories in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
“Medipix technology and the human ...