It’s not easy to find an planets beyond our own solar system. With few exceptions, we cannot see them directly. Even with the largest, most powerful telescopes, they remain lost in the glare of their host stars. Instead, astronomers like NASA’s Dr Jessie Christiansen search for clues that reveal the presence of unseen worlds as detectives.
Outside the protective cocoon of the Earth’s magnetic field is a universe full of damaging radiation. NASA’s Artemis Missions aim to establish humanity’s first long-term presence on the Moon in 2024, so experimental physicist Dr Gail Iles is investigating ways to overcome the radiation factor so that astronauts can survive long journeys, or even live indefinitely, in space.
NASA’s Artemis program is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the South Pole of the Moon as soon as 2024. With the return of humans to space, we must think about how our astronauts will be protected from the constant bombardment of cosmic and solar radiation, without the protection of Earth’s magnetic field. Experimental physicist Dr Gail Iles delved into the current methods in use and under development.