The male/female parity invites itself into the space. For the first time, we will study the effect of space radiation on the fairer sex. It’s never been done before? Yet several women have already been in space?
Strangely no! So far, all studies have been conducted only on men.
I remind you that in space, our body is no longer protected by the Earth’s magnetic field. It can therefore receive doses of cosmic radiation up to 700 times higher. It is also common knowledge that female organs, such as the breasts or the ovaries, are particularly sensitive to radiation. So a woman runs a much higher risk of getting cancer when she goes into space.
Except that, until now, there were very few female astronauts. The farthest they have gone is to the International Space Station… which is still somewhat protected by our magnetic field. But a woman will be part of the crew that will return to the moon. The moon which is even further away. Hence the importance of precisely measuring the effect of radiation on the female body.
How are we going to do this ? We’re not going to send a guinea pig?
No, we’re going to do it with mannequins stuffed with sensors that reproduce the bones, tissues and organs of the female body. It is the same type of dummy used to dose the rays in cancer treatments. The mannequins will be sent a little later in the year by Artémis 1.
I’m a science journalist and host of Cosmic Controversy (brucedorminey.podbean.com) as well as author of “Distant Wanderers: the Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System.” I primarily cover aerospace and astronomy. I’m a former Hong Kong bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and former Paris-based technology correspondent for the Financial Times newspaper who has reported from six continents. A 1998 winner in the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards (AJOYA), I’ve interviewed Nobel Prize winners and written about everything from potato blight to dark energy. Previously, I was a film and arts correspondent in New York and Europe, primarily for newspaper outlets like the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe and Canada’s Globe & Mail. Recently, I’ve contributed to Scientific American.com, Nature News, Physics World, and Yale Environment 360.com. I’m a current contributor to Astronomy and Sky & Telescope and a correspondent for Renewable Energy World. Twitter @bdorminey