Deep space exploration missions need strategies to mitigate the potentially harmful exposure to galactic cosmic radiation. This form of radiation can cause significant damage to biological systems and organisms, which include radiation-induced carcinogenesis in the hematopoietic system. Ongoing studies investigate these effects using cell- and animal-based studies in low earth orbit. The logistic challenges and costs involved with sending biological specimens to space have prompted the development of surrogate ground-based radiation experiments to study the mechanisms of biological injury and cancer risk. However, simulating galactic cosmic radiation has proven difficult and current studies are only partially succeeding at replicating the complexity of this radiation and its downstream injury pathways. Accurate simulation of chronic, low dose galactic radiation will improve our ability to test mitigation strategies such as drug development and improved shielding materials that could be crucial and essential for successful space exploration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis