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Science past: from the issue of December 17, 1960.

Heavy shielding as protection for an astronaut against space radiations may not be necessary, at least for trips of less than 50 hours and at distances not greater than 618 miles from earth.... [B]iological specimens were encased in different types of metal to test their effectiveness as shielding materials. Some specimens were shielded only by the thin aluminum covering of the specimen capsule and the comparatively thin shell of the recovery capsule. Radiation dosimeters showed that aluminum provided better shielding properties than lead and that any heavy metal such as gold or lead becomes a hazard during a solar flare as high energy protons interact with these heavy metals to create damaging X-rays.

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Title Annotation:SCIENCE NOTEBOOK; radiation shields
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 18, 2010
Words:116
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