How Did Apollo Avoid a Radiation Disaster?


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How Did Apollo Avoid a Radiation Disaster?



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Neil Armstrong’s biggest fear about the Apollo missions was a solar occurring during the mission and although none of the missions was affected by such an event they were lucky through timing rather than anything else. This video looks at what might have happened if they might not have been so lucky and how we are trying to mitigate such effects happening on the up-coming Artemis lunar program in 2024.

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Written, Researched and Presented by Paul Shillito
Images and Footage : NASA, Troublemaker, Cancer Research UK, NISENet

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42 Comments

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  1. TL;DR:
    Zoom through that shit and get back home. They were all drinking heavily, driving v8 cars with leaded fuel, flying fighter jets and smoking at the time while also cheating on their wives with syphilitic hookers and, ok yea, flying experimental spacecraft anyway so who cares. Solar radiation was the least of their worries.

  2. Didn't someone write a book stating that man was never fit for space travel? I read a few excerpts that dealt with waste disposal That were a bit amusing. But really, a man in space is a really difficult proposition.

  3. I have often wondered how the 1st Apollo mission dealt with the Van-Allen belt around Earth. Now I know that there is no escape from it but instead one must navigate through it to make it to the Moon and other places in the solar system. Odysseus had Scylla and Charybdis and we have cosmic radiation in myriad forms. Thank you for showing the extent of the effects of the solar flare from the 50s here on Earth. That scale of power is unimaginable when you think that it caused over 4,000 magnetically-triggered naval mines to explode within a short time of each other. Satellite circuitry was cooked, solar panels were hammered by charged particles that essentially aged them, digital communications were extensively disrupted. It's an example of how far we have to go scientifically to understand the basic mechanics of the universe…not even that, just stars as a beginning. It's humbling under no uncertain terms but awe-inspiring at the same time. It's why I like Star Trek (original series)– their slogan wraps the whole idea up by the phrase "to boldly go, where no man has gone before."

  4. I really hope they give you the opportunity to appear as a guest narrator on some of the MagellanTV documentaries, you really deserve more spotlight. Amazing content and incredibly interesting to watch each and every video.

  5. I Like your videos and have been following the channel for a very long time. I feel the channel has not progressed as much as it deserved . I believe it has do with lengthy videos, i know you guys want to input as much information as possible but by the time one reaches 10min mark he loses the interest. I am myself very hesitating to click a video that is over 10 min long. Hope the review is seen.

  6. So on the moon and mars the people who want to live in base there should extract water as fast as possible and shield themselfes. Imagine the power of a solar flare of a star multiple times the size of the sun in another solar system. Devistating!

  7. What you do for a long term mission like SpaceX HLS is to surround yourself with supplies, especially consumables. A multi-month mission will actually come with a lot of material that can be used for radiation shielding. If you are ever in a food warehouse, that food blocks everything. Kind of a problem when you need WiFi in the warehouse as WiFi does not pass through pallets of food very well at all. Astronauts also need an oxygen and water supply. As the mission drags on, whatever human waste is not recycled will need to be held onto if possible to use as radiation shielding. You would only discard right before blasting off to return to Earth. (Hopefully whatever you stick that in doesn't leak / get punctured.) In an HLS mission you would likely line Starship with consumables and then have a 'bunker' area where there is extra protection. They already do this kind of stuff on the ISS.

    If you really want to do space colonization, we are going to need to invest in more advanced engines and a space station where we can do orbital construction in pressurized areas. A thought I had for the pressurized area goes to existing plans and demonstrations for inflatable modules. When you get up to Starship scale, you can potentially haul up a huge inflatable hanger / space dock module with attachment points for more rigid workshop modules with manufacturing equipment in them. The idea would be the inflatable area would be where you do your construction work in a pressurized space so you don't need space suits and the workshop modules would be where parts of what you are building are crafted and say for 3D printing may even extend out into the inflatable area as it is fabricated. The idea for the workshop modules is they would be built on Earth and then simply docked in space to the large inflatable module. You would also have a large airlock module to bring in supplies from cargo Starships and probably have a big zipper type deal so a large completed item such as a spaceship can leave the inflatable module.

    When you start looking into how to get around the solar system, especially beyond the Moon, nuclear options quickly show up as a way to get high ISP and reasonably good thrust. While chemical propellant can potentially double as a radiation shield, once it is expended to make your ship go somewhere, it is not there to protect you. Depending on the nuclear option used, you can potentially have the performance needed to haul around a permanent radiation shield. You would probably still use consumables and such to help out with that shielding, but always having some, especially a significant amount of shielding by default is better than basically no shielding by default. Nuclear propulsion can also cut down transit times, lessening the need for shielding as the trip / mission is not as long. Chemical on the other hand has the equations break down real quick as you need more delta-V, especially for return trips or even fast transit around the solar system. This is as in you can go orders of magnitude bigger in the amount of propellant you start off compared to the payload mass and only go marginally faster / still not have enough propellant to make the return trip once you get to your destination in the solar system. The only reason we have managed to get probes up to significant speeds in the past using chemical propulsion is they actually spent years doing carefully planned slingshot maneuvers with planets in the solar system, which still means years to decades to get to their destination in the solar system. At this the Voyager spacecraft used an extremely rare orbital alignment to do what it did and so were launched when that rare alignment occurred with haste as it was known it was a once in a lifetime type deal to do. So yeah getting back to nuclear propulsion provides the opportunity to get to useful solar system speeds and even propellant left over for the return trip while still leaving room for permanent radiation shielding schemes.

  8. Thank you Paul. Brilliant, even without it, you know what I mean. – Why did the public pay so little attention to this vital aspect of space travel so far? And Armstrong kept many things to himself or a very limited public.

  9. Artemis in 2024? Nah…. It will be more like 2124…
    We never went to the moon by the way…
    No way such a think aluminum can could have protected astronauts from radiations.
    If they did go to the moon, we'd have had moon base 50 years ago.
    We don't.

  10. NASA got past all that radiation with the power of bullshit and Hocum. 1 in 4 Americans are now geocentrists. That's about half the conservatives in the United States. That means half the conservatives in the United States knows for a fact when we did not go to the Moon that everything they're telling us about the solar system isn't real and that they've been lying about the shape and structure of the cosmos forever. Just 10 years ago geocentris were unheard of now we're here and another 10 years hopefully we will completely knock NASA out of existence by cutting all her funding because what a wasted time. Fake Moon landings. Astronauts hanging from wire harnesses. Green screens and blue screens. Half of conservative Americans know this now

  11. Watching this video once more… It is a great explanation with a very wide breadth, concise in nature while being detailed at same time.
    Thank you Mr. Shillito, it is highly appreciated…

  12. I recall reading some years back that the contingency plan for Apollo missions was:
    [1]- Get the LM crew off the surface and back into the CM.
    [2]- Fire the Service engine to place the C/SM onto a highly eccentric lunar orbit, such that the Moon itself was directly between the Sun and the orbit's apoapsis, thus spending most of each revolution shielded from the Sun.
    [3]- Orient the C/SM such that the SM was between the Sun and the CM, thus attenuating radiation by using the SM as a shield.

  13. There is an X-class flare heading for the earth in the next two days. If you somehow read this comment look it up. If you are near the poles you might see aurora

  14. I call total BS!  First, your answer of why they didn't get fried by radiation is … luck?!?!?!  They just happened to launch 17 missions during low solar cycles.  Second, you TOTALLY ignore the fact that there is ALWAYS a lining of HEAVY radiation built up around the edge of earth's magnetic field.  HOW DID THEY GET THROUGH THAT WITHOUT BEING FRIED?!?!?!  Then, there is your account of them dancing in the solar radiation in nothing but their space suits for hours without EVER getting fried.  Then there is your account of how ALUMINUM is radiation shielding?!?!?  UTTERLY LAUGHABLE!!!!!   The icing on the cake is your demonstration of ignorance about this field by proposing giant bladders of water!!!!!!  So….. you haven't read ANYTHING about how dense hydrogen polymers are good radiation shields or about the new radiation blocking bacteria?!?!?!?!?

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