NanoRacks-San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute-Radiation Detection and Mitigation (NanoRacks-SDSA YSI-Radiation Blocking) - 05.24.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Radiation from the sun and other cosmic sources is a primary hazard for orbital crewmembers, and protecting crew health requires careful monitoring and specialized equipment. NanoRacks-San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute-Radiation Detection and Mitigation (NanoRacks-SDSA YSI-Radiation Blocking) determines whether a radiation dosimeter called Instadose™ detects high-energy radiation in the International Space Station, and whether Boronated Hydrogen Putty blocks high-energy neutrons. Two other radiation detection devices corroborate the results.
 
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Hilde N. Van den Bergh, BS Astronomy, MS Physics, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks Module-22 S/N 1002

Principal Investigator(s)
San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute , San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute, San Diego, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Hilde N. Van den Bergh, BS Astronomy, MS Physics, San Diego Science Alliance, San Diego, CA, United States

Developer(s)
Calit2 Qualcomm Institute, San Diego, CA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014

Expeditions Assigned
39/40

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute-Radiation Detection and Mitigation (NanoRacks-SDSA YSI-Radiation Detection and Mitigation) determines if Boronated Hydrogen Putty reduces the amount of high-energy neutrons that reach the detectors thus providing possible protection to astronauts.
  • NanoRacks-SDSA YSI-Radiation Detection and Mitigation also examines the ability of three different dosimeters to detect high energy particle radiation.
  • This experiment provides information on three types of radiation detectors; the Instadose™ Dosimeter, a stack of Baryotrack Solid State track detectors and a film dosimeter.
  • This experiment also provides information on the ability of Boronated Hydrogen Putty to block high-energy particle radiation from reaching the dosimeters.
  • The benefit of this research may be the possible discovery of a material to prevent harmful radiation reaching astronauts during longer space travel.
     

Description
Three different types of radiation detectors are used in NanoRacks-San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute-Radiation Detection and Mitigation (NanoRacks-SDSA YSI-Radiation Blocking) to determine if Boronated Hydrogen Putty can limit the exposure to high-energy particles, such as neutrons. This research is needed due to the long exposure to space radiation that the astronauts endure. If longer space travel is the goal, then new and efficient ways to block this radiation is needed.

The first dosimeter is an Instadose™ dosimeter that needs to be initialized before use and is in the form of a flash drive. Once initialized it runs for 90 days. The data is stored in memory and is retrieved once returned to earth. The second type of detector is a stack of Baryotrack Solid State dosimeters. These consist of a stack of 2 cm by 1 cm CR-39, a plastic polymer that allows high-energy particles to travel a distance to create a visible track once bathed in an etching solution. The third dosimeter type is a film dosimeter that measures total amount of radiation incident upon it.

One set of detectors  is uncovered and another set is covered with Boronated Hydrogen Putty. The detectors that are covered in the Boronated Hydrogen Putty detect less radiation than the detectors that are uncovered due to the high hydrogen content of the putty. The hydrogen, which has a light nucleus, causes the high energy neutrons to be repeatedly bounced and slowed. These light atoms slow down the neutrons through elastic scattering and disperses their energy. The boron content of the putty absorbs the neutron and decays into carbon or helium and produces almost no gamma radiation in the process.

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Applications

Space Applications
Protecting crewmembers from radiation is a major challenge on the ISS and for future deep-space missions. The investigation compares three types of radiation detectors: the Instadose™ Dosimeter, a stack of Baryotrack Solid State track detectors and a film dosimeter. It also measures the radiation-blocking ability of a protective material called Boronated Hydrogen Putty, which may be useful in future spacecraft.
 

Earth Applications
Students in grades 9 through 12 developed the investigation, gaining experience in science, technology and engineering. Their results may lead to new measures that can safeguard workers on Earth from radiation exposure.
 

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
NanoRacks Module-22 is completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal. During actual operation, photographic data is sent to the investigators to track the progress of the experiment. The data transmitted (VGA quality photographs along with environmental data (humidity and temperature)) is 1 every hour for the duration of the flight. The payload chamber needs to be returned to the researchers so its contents can be examined and analyzed.
Crew interaction with NanoRacks Module-22 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter (as necessary) and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
California High School Girls Build Experiment for Space Station

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Imagery

image The San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute Team who developed the NanoRacks-San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute-Radiation Detection and Mitigation (NanoRacks-SDSA YSI-Radiation Blocking) investigation.  Image courtesy of San Diego Science Alliance.
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image Mentor and Students consulting with Valley Christian High School Mentors via Skype concerning NASA ISS Safety Requirements for the NanoRacks-San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute-Radiation Detection and Mitigation (NanoRacks-SDSA YSI-Radiation Blocking) experiment. Image courtesy of San Diego Science Alliance.
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image Students assembling the NanoRacks-San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute-Radiation Detection and Mitigation (NanoRacks-SDSA YSI-Radiation Blocking) experiment in the San Diego Qualcomm Lab.  Image courtesy of San Diego Science Alliance.
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