Radiation Environment Inside a Lunar Lava Tube



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Lava tubes under the lunar surface are now believed to be numerous and widespread. They could be hundreds of meters long, tens of meters wide, with 10 or more meters of overburden. This environment could be an excellent location for human habitation, providing a constant thermal environment and significant radiation protection. This project’s focus was to develop a simple model that could simulate the effects of Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) inside lunar lava tubes using the NASA radiation transport model HZETRN2015. If lava tubes can be shown to adequately shield humans from GCR, they could have major implications for permanent lunar settlement missions. This study provides an updated analysis of the feasibility of lunar lava tubes as radiation shelters. The associated models in HZETRN can act as a stepping stone to enable much more complex and detailed simulation in the future.


Ronald Turner, Analytic Services Inc, USA
Robert Kunkel, Oklahoma University, USA
ICES503: Radiation Issues for Space Flight
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017


radiation exposure, radiation risk mitigation, lunar habitats, lunar lava tubes