Future colonists may have more than space rocks to deal with while settling upon our lunar neighbor. As it turns out, the star that allows life on Earth to exist could also bring about an end of it on the Moon.
(New Scientist Space) Future lunar astronauts could be harmed by X-ray outbursts from the Sun that occur without warning and can deliver dangerous doses of radiation in just a few minutes, a new study says. The researchers suggest that lunar rovers be equipped with metal shields that astronauts could duck behind during such events. […]
The level of radiation they consider harmful is 0.1 Gray or more, which can cause bleeding ulcers and other internal damage, and would certainly increase an astronaut’s risk of cancer. The Sun has even produced flares that could kill an unprotected spacesuited human on the Moon, they say, although these are extremely rare.
Scientists should also recommend a way to insert shielding within the lunar suits as an extra measure of protection against a surprise x-ray burst. Future colonists should also consider building underground tunnels, allowing them to transport safely between colony outposts without fear of receiving an unfriendly sun burn.