How did NASA get past the Van Allen belt?
In 1962, Van Allen – believing that protons of the inner belt could seriously threaten human spaceflight missions – suggested clearing them away by setting a nuclear bomb off near the outer belt. However, instead of clearing the inner Van Allen belt, it actually added more radiation to it.
Can humans go through the Van Allen belt?
Almost all radiation will be received while passing the inner belt. The Apollo missions marked the first event where humans traveled through the Van Allen belts, which was one of several radiation hazards known by mission planners.
Where is the Van Allen radiation belt located?
The innermost Van Allen belt sits somewhere between 400 to 6,000 miles above the surface of our planet. Even if the innermost belt is at its closest, the ISS (and the space shuttle in its day) are more than 100 miles away from the Van Allen Belts.
Who discovered the Van Allen Belts?
James A. Van Allen
The Van Allen radiation belts were discovered in 1958 by James A. Van Allen, the American physicist who designed the instruments on board Explorer 1, the first spacecraft launched by the United States. He also led the team of scientists that studied and interpreted the radiation data.
How does NASA protect astronauts from radiation?
In general, the best shields will be able to block a spectrum of radiation. Aboard the space station, the use of hydrogen-rich shielding such as polyethylene in the most frequently occupied locations, such as the sleeping quarters and the galley, has reduced the crew’s exposure to space radiation.
How high is the Van Allen radiation belt?
The inner region is centred approximately 3,000 km (1,860 miles) above the terrestrial surface. The outer region of maximum density is centred at an altitude of about 15,000 to 20,000 km (9,300 to 12,400 miles), though some estimates place it as far above the surface as six Earth radii (about 38,000 km [23,700 miles]).
What is the Van Allen radiation belt made of?
The outer Van Allen belt contains charged particles of both atmospheric and solar origin, the latter consisting largely of helium ions from the solar wind (steady stream of particles emanating from the Sun).