Shielding requirements for mission to mars nuclear engines Conference Paper uri icon


  • The main focus of space related shielding design is to protect operating systems, personnel and key structural components from radiation. Acceptable shield design is achieved by attenuation of the radiation flux and minimization of dose exposure. The prospect of manned space missions outside Earth is orbit is limited by the travel time the crew would spend in space. The chemical rockets currently used in the space program have no hope of propelling a manned vehicle to afar away location. The use of nuclear technology is advantageous due to the large energy capacity of nuclear fuel. However, the radiation emitted from nuclear propelled engines on board the ship is required to be attenuated to the levels allowable for to the crew and estimated travel time. This paper evaluates the possibility of constructing a radiation shield from lightweight materials that will provide safe protection for the crew and low neutron radiation doses for the duration of a long term space flight. This same analysis will be used later to determine the shield against neutrons generated when high-energy particles from outer space interact with materials in space vehicle. The onboard spacecraft radiation shielding analyses were performed using the Monte Carlo code MCNP5.

published proceedings

  • Transactions of the American Nuclear Society

author list (cited authors)

  • Totemeier, A., Jevremovic, T., & McDeavitt, S.

complete list of authors

  • Totemeier, A||Jevremovic, T||McDeavitt, S

publication date

  • September 2004