Washington, DC, United States

The blueprint of life, DNA's double helix is found in the cells of everything from bacteria to astronauts. Exposure to radiation(depicted at right) such as X-rays (upper) or heavy ion particles (lower), can damage DNA and cause dire consequences both to the organism itself and to future generations. One of NASA's main goals is to develop better radiation shielding materials to protect astronauts from destructive radiation in space. This is particularly important for long space missions. NASA has selected researchers to study materials that provide better shielding. This research is managed by NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research and is supported by the Microgravity Science and Applications Department at NASA's Marshall Center. During International Space Station Expedition Six, the Extravehicular Activity Radiation Monitoring (EVARM) will continue to measure radiation dosage encountered by the eyes, internal organs and skin during specific spacewalks, and relate it to the type of activity, location and other factors. An analysis of this information may be useful in mitigating potential exposure to space walkers in the future. (Illustration by Dr. Frank Cucinotta, NASA/Johnson Space Center, and Prem Saganti, Lockheed Martin)


  • Title: Biotechnology
  • Date Created: 2003-01-22
  • Rights: MSFC
  • Album: rlobrie1

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