Radiation at Venus L2 (VL2)

(the to/from exposure is going to be at least 10 times as great)
by; Brad Guth / IEIS    updated: June 06, 2003

As usual, I've caught a few more mistakes and even improved upon syntax, as well as with regard to my further understanding a few other officially NASA moderated documents, of those that seem to be getting us closer to the truth. There has also been some knowledge recently gained of what the maximum radiation dosage of Total Body Irradiation (TBI) is, in relationship to one's surviving space travel, as long as you've got spare bone marrow stashed away.

This page is still not pertaining to our physically going in person to Venus, as that's absolutely ridiculous because, it's too freaking damn hot and nasty, unless you're speaking of merely traveling about its atmosphere in some well engineered rigid airship and, preferably doing all of that within the less hot as well as less radiated season of nighttime. However, of such rigid airships we have not a clue as how to accomplish such a feat (we can't even keep those OSPREY's in the air), so why even bother with the thought. Instead, this page is about our accomplishing a Venus L2 (VL2) mission, as for potentially offering a sufficiently shielded manned platform for continuing research and of mostly for providing a communications relay function, as this level of challenge seems quite doable. That's what this page is all about, of what's safely doable as well as affordably obtainable within the current levels of technology, as well as within our lifetimes.

I know for a fact that I've requested at least a dozen or more times for exactly this sort of "how to accomplish" raw information, as from others claiming as being so right about everything (including their knowledge of Venus being so hot and nasty), as from those so "all knowing" that I honestly expected that they do in fact know far more than this village idiot but, apparently they're either not actually so "all knowing", or they're just being downright stubborn about sharing any of their pretentious knowledge with others, especially if there's no improvements in acquiring grants on their behalf.

Even though I've repeatedly reassured that I'd post credits and even share rewards with those offering their expertise, instead all I've received is their sanctimonious flak. This seems entirely and rather suspiciously odd, since the vast bulk of science and of those laws of physics seem to point all ten fingers at there being "life NOT as we know it" existing on Venus, or at the very least pointed at all those pre-greenhouse structured remains accomplished by whomever or whatever constructed such massive and complex attributes, then left town while leaving their metro airship parked halfway outside it's even more so massive silo/hangar (I suppose, that could happen).

So, in spite of all their warm and fuzzy flak, or perhaps just their plain old toilet physics getting in the way of truth again, as well as in spite of being on that "need to know" basis, I'll just offer what I've got so far and, I'll update this page as I discover where I'm wrong or simply in error because, I'm obviously not as smart as you or others. As unlike pro-NASA types and even NASA itself, I make loads of mistakes and otherwise I simply unintentionally reverse what I'm trying to say, so sue me, or just read backwards.

How many REM of TBI are you good for

Before you read through the remainder of this page (forward or backwards), you'll need to understand that I've just learned some rather important facts regarding Total Body Irradiation (TBI), with respect to what's considered a reasonably survivable dosage, sort of the TBI RED-LINE of REM or GRAY or whatever you like to utilize for referencing radiation dosage. This new found knowledge somewhat alters upon the following in that we may be capable of achieving a manned platform at VL2 utilizing less shielding than I had thought (as little as 100 mm of steel alloys instead of the hefty 1000 mm worth), as long as you've banked some bone marrow and, we manage to keep that overall TBI dosage under 200 rem (2 Sv or 2 Gy) for a two year stint.

This reference document as a space radiation dosage page (obviously NASA moderated) has become a bit more realistic, placing the yearly radiation dosage of the Van Allen belt zone (1000 to 70,000 km) at 166^3 rem (1660 Sv/year) for an aluminum spacecraft shield of 2.2 mm. That's 1600/365 = 4.548 Sv/day, /24 = .1895 Sv/hr (19 rem/hr not including multiple solar flare influx).


Once again folks and fellow village idiots, if we're going by the above chart of L2 + MAP or alternately by chart of dosage plot(2) for that of essentially calculating free space radiation dosage that's entirely external to any shield (0.0 mils as being off chart to the left), there's at least 127^4 rem/year (127^2 Sv) as based upon there being merely 2 solar proton events. So, as you can see that even by excluding anything Van Allen zone related (Van Allen offering a minimum of 311 times greater dosage as based upon the least number of solar maximum flares and, if I understand sufficiently, that's going to be proportionally greater as for two such flare events and so on), as a result we'll certrainly have our trusty geiger counters chuck full of those highly agressive protons and electron rems, rads, Grays or whatever name for that nasty radiation coming at you at 3.5^3 rem/day and, never fear because, obviously there's even more, a whole lot more from solar exposure when away from the shielded position of EL2 as well as more of the same or worse as we openly travel ourselves towards VL2.

According to my village idiot interpretations;  as with having any regard to extrapolating VL2's natural shielding as fending off 90+% of solar impact, and where Earth's L2 (EL2) should also represent 85+% shielding, because equally Earth is what's directly blocking the majority of the sun. If you like it hot, that's radiation hot, then by all means of either Earth L3 or L4 is where all the action is. So, just for any good to/from travel measure, multiply upon the above L2 estimate of 3.5^3 rem/day by at another 10 fold and, lo and behold, we've got ourselves something that's similar to what's at EL3 or EL4, having 35^3 rem/day of actual free space exposure to deal with. As you can see, or perhaps that's not possible if you're one of those official NASA image interpreters, we need to read and interpret the tiny fine print as well as to be understanding that EL2 as well as VL2 are relatively healthy positions as compared to open space and, certainly a whole lot better off than being anywhere within our Van Allen zone of death, that zone being 1000 km to 70,000 km.

It's not that I'm any whiz-bang documentation sleuth but, in other words; reading the fine print very carefully and, do understand that the charts for Earth L2 (EL2) is of a location that's roughly 90% shielded by Earth itself plus the magnetic zone and, that the annual exposure dosage was that based upon but one solar max event. Now multiply for being fully exposed (X10), now introduce another solar max event (X2), now accumulate upon all those lesser solar events per year (X5) and, now you've got yourself a somewhat better idea of what's out there. Divide by 365 if you wanted to know the daily exposure, then roughly increase that shield thickness or density by 10 fold if you wanted to reduce your exposure by 10 fold. Above all, you must disregard anything Apollo related because, absolutely none of it computes, especially of the Apollo-11 mission reporting at a mere 12 mrem/day (EVAs included).

Even though you're mostly shielded by the planet, the VL2 dosage may become roughly 1.9 X greater than the EL2 calculations because of my village idiot "duh factor" (Duh = you're situated so much closer to the sun), where instead of the Earthly 1370 W/m2 the average Venus influx is a roasty toasty 2600+ W/m2 worth. So, further multiply anything EL2 by a factor of 1.9 and, if all goes well you'll be cooking with gas (that's a pun, another analogy that also doesn't compute if you're anything pro-NASA, as in trying your best at "spin" and "damage control" on behalf of those pathetic Apollo missions is about all you're good for).

Extremely noteworthy of our understanding about this L2 background radiation chart, as specified per solar maximum flare event, where on the surface this disclosure appears quite conservative (although 2+ solar maximum flares per year would certainly not be unexpected and of all the lesser events per year ott to amount to at least another 5X), as for the example of utilizing the very same 2.22 mm aluminum shield we have 4.14^3 rems (41.4 Sv/year) or .4726 rems per hr. (remember folks; that's residing at Earth L2 (EL2) as for being significantly shielded by good old Earth itself and of per an individually large solar flare event, of which there are many such lesser flares per month, per week or day as well as some times several per hour that are accumulatively equal to if not greater than an individual maximum flare). Increasing the shield by a factor of ten (22.22 mm) will accordingly yield a resulting improvement of amounting to a reduction down to roughly 6.884% or .0325 rems/hr (that's still a minimal rating as per solar flare event).

If to be traveling straightas an arrow through the Van allen zones at 10 km/sec (that's much faster than the average Apollo passage) it takes 6900 seconds or 115 minutes (nearly 2 hours worth of exposure time leaving or returning) to traverse. Let say .19 Sv X 2 hr = 0.38 Sv or 38 rems of radiation at a given solar max created by just one individual solar flare event, whereas the accumulating background minimum radiation dosage would otherwise be roughly 1.25% of that amount, that's 0.2375 rem/hr or 0.475 rem per 2 hr travel exposure as just within the Van Allen death zone that extends from 1000 to 70000 km from Earth (actually those to/from Apollo missions may have accumulated 7 hours worth Van Allen dosage).

Getting back into regarding Earth's L2 at a maximum background of .4726 rem/hr.
Adding in for the minimum radiation influx of 1.25% or .006 rem/hr. At EL2, along with that minimum shield of 2.22 mm, if there were one solar flare per hr, we could conceivably have a typical hourly dosage of 0.4786 rem/hr.

If there were but one flare event every 10 hrs., that's an average of .048 rem/hr, where again that's adding in for the minimum background radiation influx of .006 rem/hr.

Now that we've arrived at an average of 0.054 rem/hr, of which this is not all that bad, at least until we're exposed to a thousand hours worth, as that's posting us right back at 54 rems (survivable but not without measurable T-cell and DNA damage).

Pushing that shield to 10 fold (22.22 mm) will (according to the charts) cut that dosage to 6.884% or 3.7 rems/1000 hrs. This amount we can live with, as long as we remain as mostly solar shield by remaining situated at Earth's L2.

Venus on the other hand is roughly receiving 1.9 times the solar energy flux, so we must start off by expecing that the VL2 will also be impacted at a factor of 1.9 greater than EL2.

At the same 22.22 mm shield thickness and for being located at VL2 = 3.7 X 1.9 = 7.03 rems/1000 hr.

So far so good, except for that 1000 hour exposure factor must now be further expanded in order to cover at least 18 months (+ to/from Travel). Even the raw 13,000 hour VL2 stay itself is now representing 7.03 X 13 = 91.4 rems, plus adding another 6 months worth of to/from travel exposure without the benefit of any planetary shield that was offering better than 90% solar shield. In other words, and even though this is only my best estimate, we should count upon the average overall mission travel exposure of at least 50 rems/1000 hrs in free space, as based upon having 22.22 mm worth of shield.

6 months worth of to/from VL2 travel exposure (4400 hrs) is two months in and four months returning at 50 X 4.4 = 220 rems and, that's certainly not including any EVA's nor having to deal with unusually big solar flare events. Even this amount is in lesser contrast from what others are officially having to say, as I've learned that at Earth's GSO such as EL3 or EL4, we're speaking of 550 rem/year being situated behind 20 mm of aluminum (supposedly that's not including any significant solar flares), indicating that obviously the inward domain of free space between Earth and Venus is likely going to be much greater, reaching 1045 rads or rems/year at most any Venus GSO except for VL2. So if anything, I could be speculating way too conservative in the wrong direction for saving your butt from too much radiation.

Obviously either way, we're about to have ourselves a little trouble in Radioactive River City, especially if we add those 220 rems as for the 6 months worth of to/from along with the 91.4 rems of the 18 month VL2 stay, as we're obviously at 311.4 rems for the overall 24 month mission. At that level, I can guarantee that someone onboard is not going to be a happy camper, at least not if limited to 22.22 mm worth of that aluminum shielding.

Certainly by having the bulk of your transport craft situated between you and the sun is going to represent a good deal more than 22.22 mm worth of aluminum mass. However, unlike traveling inward, in order to leave VL2 behind and return to Earth is going to take nearly continuous thrust (preferably nuclear boosted), keeping the peddle to the metal sort of speak, thus maintaining the craft in such a status of shielding yourself from the sun is going to become just as imperative as for residing at VL2.

By cutting those 311.4 rems/24 month down to 31 rems might be considered as fine and dandy for either an extremely healthy young astronaut or that of a terminally ill individual that has nothing to lose but, as for the benefit of you and myself, I'd like to see that dosage at 1% or 3.1 rems/24 months, as there's always the factors of unknowns as well as the "what if's" including emergency EVA's that are certain to impose their impact at the worst possible times.

Based somewhat upon this NASA moderated exposure document: http://conxproject.gsfc.nasa.gov/radiation/docs/con_x_dose1.pdf; I haven't quite reverse engineered all this out but, I'm thinking along the lines of 1000 mm worth or equivalent of said aluminum, as that ott to drop the overall mission radiation dosage to something below the 3.1 rems/24 months (as long as 18 of those months are situated at VL2), which is still more than 30 times the US exposure standard of 50 mrem/year for highly compensated nuclear workers and reportedly 100 times greater than for Britain and Cern stipulating 15 mrem/year (apparently British folks are far more sensitive to radiation than Americans). As a grim reminder or comparison, it's been reported that an accumulated dosage of 250 rem (2.5 Sv or Gray) is assured death for 50% within 30 days.

Of course we can substitute the 1000 mm density of aluminum offering 0.1 lb/in3 for titanium grade-12 which offers .163 lb/in3 or of some general titanium grade .17 lb/in3, as well as just plain old steel at .284 lb/in3 or how about good old lead at 0.41 lb/in3, in which case we'd require only 250 mm of lead in order to accomplish the same as 1000 mm of aluminum and, since all Americans have recently become as paranoid about lead as they are over asbestos, mercury or even of plain old hydrogen in the form of H2, there shouldn't be any conflicts nor protesting over our shipping whatever amounts of that nasty lead into space, the further away from Earth the better, and best of all being, a good number of those environmental purest will even insist upon paying as to having that nasty stuff removed, which means this VL2 mission could turn a profit before the first module launch.

A thought or two about ISS; being that the entire ISS project has become more of a liability than of any research asset, being that shuttle missions must keep pushing it back into LEO or else it'll fall out of the sky, not to mention the carnage associated with taking out way too many astronauts and of the subsequent overall CO2 created into Earth environment that's been adding further insult to injury. Thus, I was asking of others (again of those "all knowing" types) to offer some knowledge as to what it will take to push ISS towards VL2 and re-establish it as the communications/research relay platform. Then obviously from the above information upon space radiation and subsequent shielding requirements should make this a viable (survivable) alternative to constructing an entirely new vessel from scratch. In other words, we all could regain some actual scientific as well as worthy enterprise potential from something that's been costing us billions per year and unnecessarily risking astronauts for little or no scientific worth that couldn't otherwise be obtained by smaller and safer robotic missions.

Based upon the CHALLENGER and now the COLUMBIA fiasco, we certainly know that even disregarding Boeing's Phantom Works laser cannon, shuttle travel is risky business, not to mention costly business and, even though we seem to know a great deal more about human tolerance to radiation, we now should realize how important it is to improve upon both issues of safety and shielding, as nearly all of what's needed is currently within our capability and inventory, as sort of "off the shelf", where all we have to do is get those stocked shelves into orbit. In other words; we simply have to apply our best judgment, get ourselves along with the program of accomplish such things that are humanly obtainable, while at as minimal risk as possible. Obviously a robotic VL2 mission, sort of a TRACE-II or Magellan-II along with laser communication tools onboard is going to be least costly and of least (zero) risk for humans, whereas relocating ISS to VL2 is going to be a maximum effort, not to mention maximum risk.

In closing out this page, I'd like to continue thanking all those interested in discovering truths, as well as of those pretentiously sanctimonious self-richest types (several residing at GOOGLE's Space.history and space.policy among others at NASA's Space.com, Space-Talk.com and even of NASA's BBCI counterpart) that are so above reproach, holier than thou types, that just couldn't be the least bit bothered with the truth nor the possibility of any truths, certainly not the facts nor of any moral/immoral consequences of their actions and/or inactions (it's as though waste of human resources as well as whatever carnage be damned). On the other hand, I can fully understand and appreciate those of us snookered fools, as this village idiot was just as snookered if not more so as of two and a half years ago. For myself, it's been a truly deep down bad gut feeling, especially when the likes of the Walter Cronkite's of this skewed world are not only so easily snookered but of so many others are being equally if not more so utilized by the system, to punish those stumbling upon the "truths", as God forbid, we certainly don't want yourself let alone others to ever realize upon what's what, we just can't have that sort of unauthorised hypocrisy getting lose.

I can also understand the sincere reluctance or fears violating the cult nondisclosure policy of those wishing as to being divorced from their predatory pack but, as understandably it's too late for many, of their realizing and fore knowing of what a cannibalistic society these science, physics ans astronomy types are, willing and ready as to eat their own kind if that's what it takes as for getting and/or retaining recognition upon whatever accomplishments, where the ultimate accomplishment always being the NASA/NSA/DoD cash-cow trophy of obtaining those entitlements and rewards of grants being rather paramount above discovering new forms of life, even if that's of life NOT as we know it, as ET can apparently just suck eggs before there's any recognition that's not foremost self anointing, or perhaps the politically correct phrase for these jokers is physically self gratifying.

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