Traveling the cosmos – Risks, rewards, and radiation!

Collection Editors

Janice Huff, Eleanor Blakely, Polly Chang



Participating Sections

Submission Deadline


About this collection


Space is known as the “final frontier” and for good reason! Many of us remember looking at the stars as a kid and dreaming about going there. So far, only a few hundred humans have ever been in space, and these astronauts have had to train long and hard for that chance. This is because space is harsh to humans – things we experience on Earth (like gravity, an atmosphere, and even each other!) are missing in the space environment. One of the biggest issues for human space exploration is the radiation exposure astronauts will experience during a mission. Radiation exposure can cause several health issues, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and brain and performance decrements. There is also radiation exposure from sun flares that astronauts need protection for. To ensure that astronauts can safely explore the cosmos and remain healthy, we have to characterize the human health risks from space radiation exposure and provide prevention or protection strategies when necessary. The issue of space radiation is complex and multidisciplinary. It involves the range of sciences from basic physics all the way to the clinician! In this collection, we present articles (both core concept and new discovery article types) that cover this wide range of topics: 

Space Radiation Bootcamp – what is space radiation?  
How do we study space radiation effects in Earth-based labs? 
What does space radiation mean for the human in space? 
Keeping the astronauts safe from solar flares 
Cardiovascular health effects in our astronauts 
Brain and behavioral Effects from pace radiation in our astronauts  Cancer & the astronaut 

These articles are reviewed by young minds like yourself, with the same shared interests and passion for getting those spacesuit boots back onto the Moon and then forward to Mars! We hope that this collection fuels that spark in you like it does in us.

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