First measurements of lunar radiation reveal that levels are 200 times higher than on Earth – but astronauts will be able to stay up to 6 months there.
Recently published in the journal Science Advances, the first analysis of the radiation dose on the lunar surface indicates that the satellite is safe for human exploration, despite the high levels found.
Artemis, the next mission to take humans to the Moon, is scheduled for 2024.
The level of radiation on the Moon is five to ten times higher than that received by passengers on flights from New York to Frankfurt, when the plane is above the protected layers of the atmosphere, according to study co-author Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber of the University of Kiel, Germany.
Fortunately, there are relatively simple ways to protect yourself from this radiation, such as a 50 centimeters cover of soil for lunar bases or deep chambers with 10 meters of water, which are effective against the effects of solar storms.
Because it does not have a magnetic field, the Moon cannot deflect the radiation it constantly receives from cosmic rays from deep space.
For astronauts, this can pose health risks ranging from vomiting to a higher chance of developing cancer.
With proper precautions, however, it is estimated that they can spend up to six months on protected lunar bases without exceeding safety standards imposed by organizations like NASA.