NASA spacecraft en route to the Moon with Hungarian instruments on board

The Orion spacecraft, carrying the dosimeters of the Hungarian Center for Energy Research (EC), will begin its first mission with NASA’s Artemis program, the Eötvös Loránd research network announced on Monday.

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle was scheduled to launch Monday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. However, due to freezing issues between the heat shield tiles, the launch was delayed to early September. The spacecraft will carry the Orion spacecraft with EC dosimeters on board for its orbital journey around the Moon.

During the mission, the Hungarian scientists’ dosimeters will provide key data on the cosmic radiation field for the future construction of human-crewed spacecraft, the orbiting space station and the moon base.

After many years of preparation, many postponed launches, extended deadlines and repeated revisions to the budget plan, the system is ready to allow the first test flight (Exploration Mission-1) of Orion,

they wrote.

Because the health of astronauts working in a cosmic environment far from Earth is a priority, radiation protection will be a key focus of the tests. The objective is to determine the quantity and quality of radiation absorbed by different types of tissue and thus to assess the radiation exposure of the crew on board. It should be noted that EC’s Space Research Laboratory has four decades of experience in detecting cosmic rays.

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Solid-state detectors are sensitive to particles with higher energy emissions – such as protons and light-speed atoms that break apart in supernova explosions – in the form of visible surface debris, while thermoluminescent detectors are sensitive to particles with lower energy emissions – such as gamma rays and neutrons ejected from spacecraft walls. These detectors will be evaluated by ground laboratory researchers at the end of the mission.

The results of the 42-day experiment will provide information about the radiation conditions inside the Orion spacecraft and the effectiveness of the AstroRad radiation protection vest, according to the release. “All of this information, combined with data from state-of-the-art active (electronic) dosimeters and several other onboard instruments, will provide humanity with knowledge that will greatly aid in the safe execution of future Artemis missions,” they wrote. . . According to the statement, the EC will be involved in future missions, including the Gateway space station.

Feature image: via, Beitragsbild: Terry Renna/MTI/AP

Laura T. Thrasher