Space Elevators & radiation

NewScientistSpace has recently published two articles referencing another article in Acta Astronautica on the dangers that Radiation will pose to travellers using the Space Elevator.  The first article requires you to subscribe while the second article does not.  I have a subscription and so was able to read the entire first article.  The second is better and more complete, so don’t waste your money on a subscription just to read the first article.

The original article in Acta Astronautica is by Blaise Gassend and Anders Jorgensen.

3 thoughts on “Space Elevators & radiation

  1. James

    The clever authors suggest traveling in space for 3 days with NO shielding of any kind – no metal vehicle, no clothing. That is hardly realistic. A quick glance at Wikipedia yields a reference to 3 mm of aluminum resulting in an Van Allen Belt exposure of 2500 rem per year. That is less than 7 rem per day. Another Wikipedia article indicates that 3 or 4 days at that level should cause no noticable harm – though it should increase the risk of cancer.

    If I had to spend a week getting into space, I would like to have more than 3 mm of aluminum protecting me.

  2. Brian

    I agree – even if there is no genuine threat from radiation – say if the journey is the equal of being a flight attendant or a year – no way is anyone going to ride in it without some kind of shielding.

    Or at least not in numbers enough to matter.

  3. Wesley Parish

    It does offer people the chance to do some creative thinking, of course. What chance of space taxis to take passengers off below the Van Allens and scoot off to some other destination?

    After all, not everybody needs to go the full distance. You only need full shielding for those going through the Van Allens, and that could be provided by building one section with full shielding, while the rest of the transporter would have thinner shielding for those who merely have to get out of the atmosphere and can go the rest of the distance to wherever, by space taxi.

    Treating it as if it is an space elevator-killer, is absurd.

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