Broadcast 2877 Dr. Francis Cucinotta

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest: Dr. Francis (Frank) Cucinotta;  Topics:  Radiation risks and issues for humans to Mars & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,   Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See    

We welcomed Dr. Francis (Frank) Cucinotta to the show to discuss the radiation risks for astronauts going to Mars and even living on Mars.  Please note that Dr. Cucinotta has provided us with four .pdf papers you might want to review.  These papers have been uploaded to the archives for this show.  In addition, you might want to check out his PPT presentation from his July 13, 2016 FISO presentation.  You can find this presentation here:

During the first segment of our 94 minute program, our guest introduced us to the topic plus he framed the problems for us which included galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), shielding possibilities and more.  We also talked about human simulation possibilities on Earth, mice studies from orbit, a broad range of specific types of cancer risks and other potential risks including those applying to the circulatory system, and cognitive issues.  Cosmic rays were examined plus our guests ran numbers for us to illustrate risks for various aspects of a human Mars mission as well as being on the surface of Mars.  He then showed what the numbers meant in terms of years taken off the life of the astronaut.  Other first segment comments talked about standards for government astronauts as opposed to private sector astronauts.   Marshall called to talk about cosmic rays and radiation from other smaller particles.  Don't miss this discussion.  Listeners Doug and BJohn asked a series of questions via email and Linda asked about radiation issues for a one way trip to Mars.

In the second segment we took a call from Dave in Chicago addressing several radiation and beta issues based on his nuclear submarine and power plant experience.  Doug and BJohn continued sending in questions via email plus I asked Frank about the radiation standards from other space agencies such as Russia, China, and Europe.  Dr. Doug's last question asked if our guest would sign off on a particular type of mission.  Listen to Frank's full answer but he did say that it would be better to do the research, get the data and answer the questions so that Doug's question would not be applicable.  Don't miss what he said about this.  We talked EVAs, clothing as shielding including material used for spacesuits. Dr. Cucinotta mentioned that while pharmaceuticals may degrade in space, he did not think it was form radiation.  Don't miss this discussion and the other topics that were discussed during this segment.

 Dr. Lurio was our last caller wanting to know about Dr. Ruth Bamford's work on artificial magnetospheres. Before the program ended, I asked our guest to tell us what type of program would be needed to answer the radiation questions.  He had talked about this throughout the program and had indicated that we were not going in the right direction regarding getting the data for radiation issues facing humans in space.  Don't miss what he said such a R&D program would look like. 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this program.  You can reach Dr. Cucinotta through his faculty website at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas or through me.

Show Files: 




space radiation per his recent FISO talk

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07 Mar 2017 Dr. Francis Cucinotta
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