Many scientists, astronomers in general, and even regular people are hoping that humans will return to the Moon by 2024 with the Artemis project. But not so fast, our nocturnal companion and natural satellite would say.
A Chinese-German team of researchers led by Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber from the University of Kiel raises the alarm about higher levels of lunar radiation than expected. In fact, they claim that the environment on the Moon is so unsafe that spending long periods of time on the lunar surface isn’t an option at all. This would seriously jeopardize the upcoming Artemis mission of NASA, considering that it aims to build a base on the Moon for long-term goals. Hopefully, scientists will find a way to deal with the threat.
Maximum time allowed: two months
This means that NASA should find a way of building the base on the Moon during the Artemis program in less than two months. To be more precise, any astronauts roaming across the Moon’s surface will be dealing with radiation between two and three times more powerful than experienced on the International Space Station (ISS) and even 200 times more intense than the levels present on Earth.
The main sources of radiation will be high-energy cosmic rays, as well as solar particle events. There’s a good chance that astronauts will also be bombarded by gamma rays created by the lunar soil interacting with other forms of radiation.
Space travel cannot be risk-free, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so exciting in the first place. But if science was able to safely send humans to the Moon in 1969, it should be fully able to do it again more than half a century later. If everything goes as planned with the Artemis mission by 2024, planet Mars will be the next destination.