Space Radiation Organ Doses for Astronauts on Past and Future Missions
Cucinotta FA (2006). "Space Radiation Organ Doses for Astronauts on Past and Future Missions."
We review methods and data used for determining astronaut organ dose equivalents on past space missions including Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, NASA-Mir, and International Space Station (ISS). Expectations for future lunar missions are also described. Physical measurements of space radiation include the absorbed dose, dose equivalent, and linear energy transfer (LET) spectra, or a related quantity, the lineal energy (y) spectra that is measured by a tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC). These data are used in conjunction with space radiation transport models to project organ specific doses used in cancer and other risk projection models. Biodosimetry data from Mir, STS, and ISS missions provide an alternative estimate of organ dose equivalents based on chromosome aberrations. The physical environments inside spacecraft are currently well understood with errors in organ dose projections estimated as less than plus or minus 15%, however understanding the biological risks from space radiation remains a difficult problem because of the many radiation types including protons, heavy ions, and secondary neutrons for which there are no human data to estimate risks. The accuracy of projections of organ dose equivalents described here must be supplemented with research on the health risks of space exposure to properly assess crew safety for exploration missions.