NASA -National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Flight Surgeon

Problem: Determine the risks from solar storms to the shuttle, International Space Station and crews, and make recommendations that would ensure the safety of the shuttle, space station and crew members. The flight surgeon for the space station must know the risks to crewmembers' health. The flight surgeon must also know their current health, and how to maintain their health. Will solar storms be a risk to the crew? To make good recommendations to protect crew you must understand the risks of solar storms.

Use information provided here to help your team.

Career Connection
To find out more about this career, read about two NASA flight surgeons.
Nitza Margarita Cintron  →
Yvonne Cagle  →

Student Activities
    Radiation Hazards in Space: Play the Radiation Hazards board game and find out how risky a trip to Mars might be for astronauts. Directions for the board game may be found on Space Weather Education Web site for the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, or LASP, at the University of Colorado. Go to the Space Weather page and look for the section called Middle School Lessons. The PDF called "Radiation Hazards in Space" may be found in the list of Middle School Lessons.

    Radiation Exposure: (9-12) The Challenger Center has developed this lesson to teach students how to calculate radiation risk on the ISS. The PDF called "Radiation Exposure" may be found in a list of lessons available to teachers. Once in the Teachers' section, go to the Challenger Center Lessons and submit a query to see a list of all lessons available.
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Begin Your Research
The information provided here will help you to learn about important health risks to the crews of the International Space Station and shuttle. The information comes from a variety of professional sources and some words may not be familiar to you. Don't hesitate to look up these words.

    Facts: Space Health and Fitness (5-10) Read about the health challenges to living in space for extended periods of time.
    View site  →

    Sickening Solar Flares: (5-12) Learn about the risks of radiation sickness to astronauts during solar storms.
    View site  →

    Who's Afraid of a Solar Flare?: (5-12) Are all solar storms equally risky? Does it matter where astronauts are?
    View site  →

    Can People Go to Mars?: (5-12) Learn more about radiation risks to astronauts.
    View site  →
Advanced Study
    Was Einstein Wrong About Space Travel?: (8-12) How does radiation affect an astronaut?
    View site  →

    Spaceflight Radiation Health Program: (9-12) The Johnson Space Center, or JSC, leads the research and development activities necessary to address the health effects of space radiation exposure to astronaut crews. The Spaceflight Radiation Health Program seeks to balance the requirements for operational flexibility with the requirement to minimize crew radiation exposure.
    View site  →

    Radiation and the International Space Station: (9-12) Radiation can affect the space station and the crew. Find out what the risks are.
    View site  →

    NASA's Radiation Research Program: (8-12) Learn about NASA's space radiation research. View site  →

    Understanding Space Radiation: (9-12) Use the NASA Spaceflight Fact Sheet Library to learn about space radiation. Select "Understanding Space Radiation" from the menu.
    View library  →

    Radiation and the International Space Station: (9-12) High-energy protons traveling at high speeds away from the sun can affect spacecraft and astronauts.
    View site  →

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