Space biological effects are mainly a result of space radiation particles with high linear energy transfer (LET); therefore, accurate measurement of high LET space radiation is vital. The radiation in low Earth orbits is composed mainly of high‐energy galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), solar energetic particles, particles of radiation belts, the South Atlantic Anomaly, and the albedo neutrons and protons scattered from the Earth's atmosphere. CR‐39 plastic nuclear track detectors sensitive to high LET are the best passive detectors to measure space radiation. The LET method that employs CR‐39 can measure all the radiation LET spectra and quantities. CR‐39 detectors can also record the incident directions and coordinates of GCR heavy ions that pass through both CR‐39 and biosamples, and the impact parameter, the distance between the particle's incident point and the seed's spore, can then be determined. The radiation characteristics and impact parameter of GCR heavy ions are especially beneficial for in‐depth research regarding space radiation biological effects. The payload returnable satellite SJ‐10 provided an excellent opportunity to investigate space radiation biological effects with CR‐39 detectors. The space bio‐effects experiment was successfully conducted on board the SJ‐10 satellite. This paper introduces space radiation in low Earth orbits and the LET method in radiation‐related research and presents the results of nuclear tracks and biosamples hitting distributions of GCR heavy ions, the radiation LET spectra, and the quantities measured for the SJ‐10 space mission. The SJ‐10 bio‐experiment indicated that radiation may produce significant bio‐effects.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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