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“Tomorrow’s NASA space program will be different,” says Wallace Fowler of the University of Texas, a renowned expert in modeling and design of spacecraft, and planetary exploration systems. “Human space flight beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO), beyond Earth’s natural radiation shields (the Van Allen belts), is dangerous.”

Currently, a human being outside the Van Allen belts could receive the NASA defined “lifetime dose” of galactic cosmic radiation within 200 days. If the Sun spews out a coronal jet of radiation in a solar storm in the direction of the spacecraft, a lethal dose can be received in a few hours. Mars does not have the equivalent of the shielding Van Allen belts, so a Mars base would also need shielding. Until we develop appropriate shielding, probably an intense magnetic field around the spacecraft, human travel, even to the moon, will likely be limited. -Daily Galaxy

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene about space travel beyond the Van Allen belts.

Journaling Prompt: If you could travel into outer space, what would you like to see?

Art Prompt: Space Travel

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the difficulties of space travel.

Photo Credit: x-ray delta one on Flickr

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