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Ivelisse Gilman
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For Release:   March 29, 2001

RELEASE NO. 02-025

NASA Langley workshop aims to protect space explorers

Protecting astronauts and equipment from potentially harmful radiation is one of the biggest challenges facing space exploration. More than 100 scientists and engineers from across the world will tackle that issue at a Space Radiation Shielding Technology Workshop, April 3-5 at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Participants will review advanced technologies for the design of spacecraft and space habitat radiation shielding.

"We want to be able to develop methods to design spacecraft which are less vulnerable to space radiation with increased spacecraft performance. In the past, the shielding of spacecraft always meant compromising the performance of the vehicle and at a higher cost," said John W. Wilson, lead researcher for Langley’s Radiation and Physics Group. "We want to change that, so that the radiation constraints enter early into the design process."

One of the objectives of the workshop is to look at the use of immersive reality and web-based solutions as engineering design tools for future spacesuits, rovers, transfer vehicle concepts and other engineering design methods.

Reporters will be able to tour NASA Langley’s Immersive Design and Simulation Lab, an immersive virtual reality environment that uses high-performance computing, graphics and audio rendering to simulate the radiation and acoustic environment of the International Space Station. In this collaborative virtual environment, engineers can quickly and effectively determine areas that can improve for crew safety and comfort.

Photos and interview opportunities are also available.

For photos of the Immersive Design and Simulation Lab, please click on:

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