Protective Equipment Against Radiation to Be Tested on Nauka Module on ISS in 2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - New equipment that will help protect people from radiation during interplanetary flights will be tested on the Russian Nauka multipurpose laboratory module at the International Space Station, the head of the nuclear planetology department at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Igor Mitrofanov, said.
"We are wrapping up the construction of a design and development prototype of the BTN-M2 scientific equipment. … I hope that in 2023, the BTN-M2 flight equipment will be taken into orbit by a Progress spaceship and will start working on the ISS," Mitrofanov said.
He specified that unlike the BTN-M1 equipment currently installed on the outer surface of the Zvezda module, the new device will be installed inside the Nauka module.
"Thanks to this experiment, we will understand how we can reduce the neutron radiation background on board the station with the use of such protective shields. This is not very important for the ISS in low Earth orbit, but will be able to offer options for neutron radiation protection right on board the spacecraft during future flights beyond the Earth’s magnetosphere, into far outer space, where neutrons from galactic and solar cosmic rays will present a very serious radiation hazard for the crew," Mitrofanov explained to Sputnik.
According to its developers, the BTN-M2 scientific equipment is being designed to study neutron energy spectrum and their temporal and spatial distribution both inside and outside the ISS. Another task is to study the shielding properties of different materials that could, in the future, be used to protect people from radiation during interplanetary flights and manned expeditions to the Moon and Mars.