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LRO Provides Data for Human Exploration

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NASA's Robotic LRO Spacecraft Provides Data for Human Exploration

NASA's robotic Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the agency's spacecraft that set out to map the moon, is yielding information about the radiation environment humans will encounter as they venture into deep space.

An instrument on LRO, Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER), gauged the radiation dose of cosmic rays after passing through a plastic material that simulates how space radiation interacts with human muscle tissue. CRaTER initially was designed to characterize the global lunar radiation environment and biological impacts. Recent findings from data collected by LRO also may help scientists validate their understanding of the radiation environment and help engineers develop shielding that may reduce health risks to astronauts as they travel to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.

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This data joins that obtained by Curiosity in helping determine the radiation risk faced by humans in future deep space missions (see HERE).

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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