Space Radiation and Applications for Aerospace Medicine on Earth: Lunch with NASA Flight Surgeon Dr. Esther Beltran

Event held by IHAIG – Immigrant Health and Advocacy Interest Group on 05/17/2021:

Low to zero gravity objects (Moon, Mars, Mercury, NEAs) are strategic destinations for future human exploration missions, and they are constantly bombarded with radiation from solar wind, galactic cosmic rays, and hypervelocity micrometeorite impacts. This radiation poses mission-limiting risks for humans, and radiation protection techniques developed for space exploration have countless application on Earth, whether in oncology or occupational medicine. We hosted an out-of-this-world lunch meeting with Dr. Esther Beltran, who leverages her medical background to pioneer novel radiation protection techniques for the NASA Radiation Effects on Volatiles and Exploration of Asteroids and Lunar Surfaces (REVEALS) Institute. Dr. Beltran spoke about her training as a flight surgeon and how that gave her a unique skillset to develop next-generation spacesuits, and students got to ask questions about how long-term spaceflight affects human physiology.