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High Hydrogen Content Nanostructured Polymer Radiation Protection System
Alex Ignatiev
University of Houston


The radiation hazards of space now need to be more critically mitigated as man ventures from several days/months in space to many years in space such as a trip to Mars. A new radiation protection system required for these longer manned space voyages will be developed based on the recently defined unique hydrogen uptake properties of nanostructured polymers such as polyaniline (PANI). The possibility of significantly increasing the total amount of hydrogen in PANI (and thus increasing effectiveness for radiation protection), and the polymeric nature of PANI can allow for not only realizing significant cosmic radiation protection, but also allow for good structural and form stability for shielding elements fabricated from the polymer. Further, the conductive nature of the nanostructured polymer can be additionally useful for possible electrostatic mitigation of ionic species thus allowing for active radiation protection concepts without requiring high mass number metallic components. High hydrogen content nanostructured polymers promise to meet the critical radiation protection needs of NASA and allow for man’s venture into post earth orbit space.

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