NASA has created a “cosmic ray gun” that simulates the radiation environment in the laboratory, allowing the study of the effects of high-energy particles on astronauts before heading to Mars, where some scientists have raised concerns about how the galactic cosmic rays affect astronauts in deep space missions, which can It causes dementia and permanent memory loss.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, NASA designed a device that simulates rays by combining protons, helium ions and heavy ions to create a radioactive environment, and pistol-like tools were first used in mice, who received both acute and chronic doses while in cages.
The US space agency hopes that technology will help them better understand the risks of humans exploring the Moon, Mars and beyond.
The galactic cosmic rays comprise a mixture of high-energy protons, helium ions and charging ions, and the higher energy that ranges from lithium to iron, and it is extremely difficult to protect from them.
These ions interact with spacecraft materials and human tissues to form a complex mixed field of primary and secondary particles.
NASA has revealed that, for the first time, it has developed rapid ion beam transfer technology and control of system technology to recreate galactic cosmic rays (GCR) in the laboratory.
The researchers participated in a study published in the journal Biology “PLoS Biology“Historically, most research has been done on understanding the health risks from radiation in space using acute exposures of mono-ion beams.”
But despite this, the space radiation environment consists of a wide range of ionic types over a wide range of energy, and using the technology of recently developed radiation switching and control systems in NASA’s Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRLIn Brookhaven National Laboratory, it is possible to create a new era in radiological biological research.
The device allows scientists to choose the amount of radiation that is transmitted in the samples, and a simulator is designed to hit mice and rats at critical locations that will be similar to how they appear on the human body.
NASA also said the technology could be tested on materials, allowing it to understand how missiles and space suits are affected by high-energy particles.
The results of these early experiments have not yet been published, but researchers suggest that the first operation of the cosmic ray simulator will allow them to plan future operations.