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Question about Orion protection from radiation

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posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 07:12 AM
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Hello, I have a question regarding a video we already watched a few times (I guess), and it was already posted here but I couldn't find what I was looking for because the thread seemed to go the way of lunar landing hoax vs real. I don't have a strong opinion about this subject, but more importantly I frankly don't care much at the moment.

I read many things, mainstream and not, about the radiation in the van Allen belts and in this article from huffpost there is a link that allegedly explains everything (an old page from year 2000). In fact it doesn't explain anything about what is said in the video even tho the article seems to give a hint that the link is going to explain what new technology would be extremely endangered by the belts.

Also the article is misleading in the interpretation of the wording. The guy in the video clearly states "through this region of space", which is ofc not what the article state, i.e. that exposure for longer time in deep space is what he meant.

So what I would like to ask is: what is the new equipment that would be subject to additional concerns?
I would assume that 40 years of studies on materials, radiation control and shielding would make passing through the belts a far easier achievement than it was in '69, but it seems not the case.
Maybe is it due to the ship design? Or orbital path needed? Or is it just poor wording from the NASA guy (and in this case has it been reworded/retracted)?

Thanks in advance

p.s. please don't turn this question in a hoax vs not debate, it's about vulnerable tech of today that wasn't present in the old days).




posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 07:15 AM
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a reply to: Mastronaut

I thought Apollo avoided the Van Allen Belt by simply passing by the pole?


edit on 8-8-2015 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 07:23 AM
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originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: Mastronaut

I thought Apollo avoided the Van Allen Belt by simply passing by the pole?

Word is, mister Van Allen himself helped figure out Apollo's trajectory to minimize radiation exposure.



Well yes, as I read here it was a matter of staying under the belts for the acceleration path and then passing through them very fast. Why is this not possible with Orion, and why isn't it possible to just have a "polar exit", because unless I'm reading it wrong every Apollo mission went through them.
Is it a military concern to do polar orbits or is it expensive or inefficient?



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 07:36 AM
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My guess is that the tech of "60's" was not as easy to destroy by radiation as the new high tech stuff.
Like hitting a cast iron pan with a rubber mallet vs a piece of glass with same mallet.

New tech is far to sensitive, the old stuff was not so much.

Polar exit would still seem the right path. Maybe not ....



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 07:39 AM
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a reply to: Mastronaut

So I found this complex mathy article that should be scrolled down to this point…


Van Allen Radiation Belts

A common claim of the moon landing conspiracy theorists is that Apollo was impossible because the Van Allen Radiation Belts (VARB) form an impenetrable barrier to human space flight beyond low Earth orbit. Aside from the fact that the man after which the VARB are named, Dr. James Van Allen, has specifically repudiated the claim, there are several things wrong with this theory. One reason is specifically relevant to this web page - the Apollo missions didn't fly straight through the teeth of the VARB, they mostly went around them.

The Van Allen Radiation Belts are a torus of energetic charged particles circling Earth around its magnetic equator and held in place by Earth's magnetic field. The VARB are split into two distinct belts, with energetic electrons forming the outer belt and a combination of protons and electrons forming the inner belt. The energy and density of the particles varies by many orders of magnitude depending on where inside the VARB one is located.

source


There are diagrams just below the material quoted that show the trajectory of apollo 11 and other moon missions were designed to miss most of the dangerous radiation. If that helps…



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 08:19 AM
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Ye, I read tons of articles about the VAB, but what I am intrested in is the real tech on Orion that would be hard to shield or very vulnerable. Maybe something that was analogue at the time while electronic and fragile today, or what was not needed then that is needed now.
So far I can only imagine it's a matter of ship design (maybe weight necessities) or orbit rather than simple "tech", given that there are far better metamaterials and tons of time to discuss possibilities. As it is presented it seems that old technologies were safer than today's or that there were different standards of safety.
It's also intresting in the report I linked from NASA that there was a concern about high-altitude nuclear test. Quoting from the pdf



A major camplication concerning radiation stability within the belts (including the South Atlantic anomaly portion) is a result of high-altitude nuclear detonations.
In 1962, the United States detonated a 1. 5-megaton thermonuclear device (Project Starfish) in a portion of the Van Allen belt region and caused the radiation levels within the belts to rise significantly. By 1969, the high -energy electron component of the injected radiation had decayed to only one-twelfth of the 1962 intensity.
The small amount of time spent in earth orbit and the rapid traverse of the radiation belts during Apollo missions have minimized astronaut radiation dose from the remaining Starfish electrons. However, recur - rence of high-altitude nuclear testing would have a significant impact on Apollo earth-orbit operations, and this possibility has been factored into radiation-protection planning for Apollo space missions. Sources of current intelligence information on nuclear-device testing are available to the NASA, and these sources are ready to assist in the real-time management of any contingency
that might be caused by the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear device.


So maybe between '69 and today a lot more nuclear tests went on and we have a different situation in the radiation belt? I'd say that it's a possibility, but still doesn't answer the question about what technology is so vulnerable (and I mean what's the names of the vulnerable components and their function rather than "new tech").



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 09:09 AM
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a reply to: Mastronaut

Do you think all that gold foil may have had something to do with reducing the amount of radiation which penetrated the capsule walls?
If I remember correctly, this was the primary shielding used on the Appollo mission capsules and the lander. It can be seen in most of the pictures taken of the missions.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 09:25 AM
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originally posted by: tinymind
a reply to: Mastronaut

Do you think all that gold foil may have had something to do with reducing the amount of radiation which penetrated the capsule walls?
If I remember correctly, this was the primary shielding used on the Appollo mission capsules and the lander. It can be seen in most of the pictures taken of the missions.


Are you implying that there is no budget to use gold anymore?

EDIT: It seems it was mylar not gold

edit on 8 8 2015 by Mastronaut because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 09:36 AM
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originally posted by: Mastronaut

So maybe between '69 and today a lot more nuclear tests went on and we have a different situation in the radiation belt? I'd say that it's a possibility, but still doesn't answer the question about what technology is so vulnerable (and I mean what's the names of the vulnerable components and their function rather than "new tech").


It's the computer parts that are most vulnerable. Charged particles passing through integrated circuits can knock electrons around, causing things like bit flips or over-voltages. Over the years, computer chips have gotten smaller and denser. In general, that's good, since it means they get faster, have more functions, and require less power. But it also means it takes less energy to flip bits or damage them, so they're actually more susceptible to radiation.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: Mastronaut

No.
I am simply trying to inject some facts about the radiation shielding used on these missions which has not been stated in prior posts about this subject.
If the concerns about the radiation from the Van Allen belts had been addressed before, there would be little discussion about them now.
So any statements by an engineer would be consider this information as prior knowledge and would likely not be explained in depth again.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:06 AM
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originally posted by: nataylor

It's the computer parts that are most vulnerable. Charged particles passing through integrated circuits can knock electrons around, causing things like bit flips or over-voltages. Over the years, computer chips have gotten smaller and denser. In general, that's good, since it means they get faster, have more functions, and require less power. But it also means it takes less energy to flip bits or damage them, so they're actually more susceptible to radiation.


Ye I assumed something like that, but the computer parts can be shielded more easily than the entire cabin. After all we already built several satellites and devices that fares rather well or at least survive decently. According to this article half of those satellites are in a range where the radiation should be very high, including geostationary ones (~36000 km) which are at the outer edges iirc.

However error control and specialized detectors should be able to mitigate the problem considering the entire capsule should be also shielded to protect humans. So I still can't understand very well if the scientist was talking about human protection from radiation or human protection for radiation-caused failures.
Are you aware of any specific device on Orion that can be subject to additional radiation issues than the usual electronic components installed on previous missions or current high-altitude satellites?



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:08 AM
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originally posted by: tinymind
a reply to: Mastronaut

No.
I am simply trying to inject some facts about the radiation shielding used on these missions which has not been stated in prior posts about this subject.
If the concerns about the radiation from the Van Allen belts had been addressed before, there would be little discussion about them now.
So any statements by an engineer would be consider this information as prior knowledge and would likely not be explained in depth again.


Sorry I'm not sure I am following you... In fact it seems it wasn't gold and you provided no sources, so I'd say you aren't bringing anything informative if that was your intention.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:12 AM
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I'm not sure that Orion's trajectories will always be through the most intense regions of the VAB.

If you want to know how your protection strategies will deal with high levels of radiation on longer terms missions you can either wait a long time for an accumulated dose to happen, or you can blast it pretty quickly and get your data faster.

Another poster was correct in that testing there are much more sensitive electronics, and much more electronics, than in the Apollo era. The craft is also built of different materials, has a different purpose, and is subject to more stringent safety standards.
edit on 8-8-2015 by onebigmonkey because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:28 AM
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a reply to: Mastronaut

I had actually thought someone who is interested in this particular subject would have seen some pictures of the past missions.
Of course, considering my age, I was around when they were planning these missions, and a lot of information was openly dscussed and made public knowledge.
If these things are not helpful, or atleast of interest, I guess I have over estimated the relevance of any input I may have.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: onebigmonkey

But we should have quite good data from the satellites and all the missions we have in space, some of which surely have high tech components. Most of my interest is why passing through the belts should be an unresolved concern looking at the wording of the scientist. Not that I think it's settled science or easy, but there is no other reference to something like very high cost or something like that which could justify having to still "resolve" the problem before sending humans through it.

I understand the vulnerabilities, however I can't find any statistics about failures for current electronics in space so I can't understand the magnitude of the problem. I found this but it's old ('96) and evaluates a hundred cases from 74 to 94. I think this isn't even applicable to today's tech and I'd expect NASA to have far better than consumer tech which is probably already more sophisticated than what's in that paper.

I think it's harder to shield the crew rather than the devices, at least the internal ones, so it's either about external sensors or I can't explain that specific sentence from the NASA guy and I don't think it was just poor wording. The problem I have is that everything is just generalized and I can't find some more in-depth explaination of the studies they are doing for the issue presented.

p.s. I want to be clear that I don't see any conspiracy here, it's more about what new component in this case is MORE subsceptible, or if it not about components at all.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:37 AM
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originally posted by: tinymind
a reply to: Mastronaut

I had actually thought someone who is interested in this particular subject would have seen some pictures of the past missions.
Of course, considering my age, I was around when they were planning these missions, and a lot of information was openly dscussed and made public knowledge.
If these things are not helpful, or atleast of interest, I guess I have over estimated the relevance of any input I may have.


Sorry but it wasn't my intention to downplay your comment.
I saw many many photos of Apollo missions and I saw the golden foils that you were referring to (which turned out to be a plastic material rather than gold). I also already read most of the info about van Allen belts, but this post is more about what's in Orion that puts at a higher stake the lives of the crew members compared to the Apollo ones? Because that's what seems to suggest the wording of that specific phrase.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:51 AM
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originally posted by: tinymind
a reply to: Mastronaut

Do you think all that gold foil may have had something to do with reducing the amount of radiation which penetrated the capsule walls?
If I remember correctly, this was the primary shielding used on the Appollo mission capsules and the lander. It can be seen in most of the pictures taken of the missions.


The "gold foil" was actually aluminized kapton. Kapton is a plastic film kind of like mylar, but is orange in color. When coated with a layer of aluminum, it looks gold.

Aluminized kapton in layers is a superb, lightweight thermal shield for spacecraft. It was used on the Apollo Lunar Module and on many satellites and deep space probes (links go to photographs).

It is NOT primarily a radiation shield.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: Mastronaut

Orion will be used for longer missions ie months /years unlike Apollo missions to the Moon, so it has a far greater risk of exposure to higher levels of radiation if it's going to Mars or asteroid belt etc.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 10:56 AM
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originally posted by: wmd_2008
a reply to: Mastronaut

Orion will be used for longer missions ie months /years unlike Apollo missions to the Moon, so it has a far greater risk of exposure to higher levels of radiation if it's going to Mars or asteroid belt etc.



True, but the concern seemed about passing through VAB not just long time exposure.



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 11:27 AM
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originally posted by: Mastronaut

originally posted by: wmd_2008
a reply to: Mastronaut

Orion will be used for longer missions ie months /years unlike Apollo missions to the Moon, so it has a far greater risk of exposure to higher levels of radiation if it's going to Mars or asteroid belt etc.



True, but the concern seemed about passing through VAB not just long time exposure.


I'm not sure what you're trying to get at. The Apollo spacecraft used mechanical switches, rheostats and so forth, which are not affected very much by radiation. Their computers used transistors and electrical relays. Orion will be controlled by microchips, which are much more susceptible to radiation damage. Even the input will be via touchscreens, which can also be affected by radiation. It is due to the evolution of the technology. An old sailing ship would not be harmed by an electromagnetic pulse, a modern ship could be crippled by one.



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