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Thread: Apollo hoax and the VA Belts

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    Apollo hoax and the VA Belts

    First, I stress I'm not posting as a believer in the hoax-theory, I'm just looking for some information.

    The VA belts seem to have become a focus of 'debate' on this topic and part of the reason seems to be a certain blurriness about the core data. NASA says the belts are safe in rapid transit, the hoax-believers deny this and point to Van Allen's initial findings as published in Scientific American. But this can't be the only publication on the subject. Either VA himself or other scientists must have published follow-up studies that make it clear how and why the belts are safe if transited at speed. It would help get a clearer picture if that data could be quoted alongside the much-used SA article wouldn't it? I'm currently trying to track down some additional references, but haven't found anything readily available online.


    I'm wondering if anyone here can direct me to where the research data on the subject was published?

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    Hi angelalice, welcome to the board.

    I did not notice the Van Allen argument to be much more popular in HB circles than the other points. The original arguments seem to be on sort of a permanent rotation, each coming up every so often despite having been debunked early on - but that may subjective.

    The radiation results are online here (of course, if you use them in front of an HB, they are all useless, since, coming from NASA, they are all fake). I also found the Wikipedia article helpful as a starting point.

    Others more knowledgeable than I will be able to help you further. But you might start with this material.

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    Hi angelalice, welcome to BAUT.

    A couple of minute of Googling found:

    Radiological health risks for exploratory class missions in space, Acta Astronautica, Volume 23, 1991, Pages 227–231
    Crewmembers on missions to the Moon or Mars will be unavoidably exposed to ionizing radiation as they pass through the Van Allen belts and the Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) flux. There is the possibility for exposure to proton radiation from Solar Particle Events (SPE). Using absorbed doses and ICRP 26, Linear Energy Transfer (LET)-dependent quality factors, the following dose-equivalents are estimated: In a spacecraft with 0.75 cm aluminum walls (2 g/cm2) at solar minimum, the lunar round trip dose-equivalent is less than 0.05 Sv. During a Mars mission the estimated dose-equivalents are: outbound (Van Allen Belts) <0.02 Sv; Earth to Mars (205 days exposure to free space GCR) 0.32 Sv; 30 days on the Martian surface (GCR) 0.023 Sv; Mars to Earth (225 days exposure to free space) 0.35 Sv; and through the Van Allen Belts 0.02 Sv. Conventionally, the total of 0.73 Sv over 460 days could be expected to increase the risk of cancer mortality in a 35-year old male astronaut by about one percent. However three-fourths of the dose-equivalent in free space is contributed by high LET heavy ions (Z ≥ 3) and target fragments with average quality factors of 10.3 and 20 respectively. The biological effectiveness of these radiations is poorly understood; so the quality factors are set at conservatively very high values. The entire concept of absorbed dose/quality factor/dose-equivalent as applied to GCR must be reconsidered.
    MIDN: a spacecraft microdosimeter mission, Journal of the ICRU, 2006, Volume 120, Issue 1-4, p. 421-426
    MIDN (MIcroDosimetry iNstrument) is a payload on the MidSTAR-I spacecraft (Midshipman Space Technology Applications Research) under development at the United States Naval Academy. MIDN is a solid-state system being designed and constructed to measure microdosimetric spectra to determine radiation quality factors for space environments. Radiation is a critical threat to the health of astronauts and to the success of missions in low-Earth orbit and space exploration. The system will consist of three separate sensors, one external to the spacecraft, one internal and one embedded in polyethylene. Design goals are mass <3 kg and power <2 W. The MidSTAR-I mission in 2006 will provide an opportunity to evaluate a preliminary version of this system. Its low power and mass makes it useful for the International Space Station and manned and unmanned interplanetary missions as a real-time system to assess and alert astronauts to enhanced radiation environments.
    Space Medicine—A Review of Current Concepts, West J Med. 1987 September; 147(3): 292–295
    Space medicine deals with the branch of research involved with the adaptation of humans to the unique environment of space. More than 100 people have traveled in space. The day will come when some human beings will spend all their time in space. Medical problems encountered in space, such as motion sickness, negative nitrogen and calcium balance, anemia and radiation exposure, are issues that already affect medical practice outside aerospace medicine.
    Is this the kind of stuff you are looking for?
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    There is some information at http://www.clavius.org/envrad.html

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    BTW, for the "Radiological health risks... " quote, the "quality factors" are used to translate between absorbed energy from radiation and the adverse physiological effect of this energy. A quality factor of 20 means the damage of this type of radiation is about 20 time the damage of a similar amount of gamma radiation. This may be used by HB'ers to inflate the numbers, but those numbers listed in Sv (Sievert) have already had this conversion applied once.
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    Van Allen's findings in Scientific American were rudimentary. At that time, the size and composition of the Van Allen belts were not very well known. Yes, since then an enormous amount of science has been done to characterize the trapped radiation belts and the magnetosphere. A great deal of commercial spacefaring depends on that work being accurate, so that commercial spacecraft can be properly designed to accommodate it. Hence it's very unlikely that the published results these days are somehow doctored or misrepresented.

    The models are known collectively as AP8 and AE8, and rather than being a single figure or table, it is a computer algorithm that gives radiation parameters (flux/energy profiles etc.) for some point within the belts at some point in time. This accounts for seasonal fluctuations. The algorithm and its vast library of supporting detail are maintained by the National Space Science Data Center.

    The inclination of the departure orbit is the key. Hoax believers, along with other laymen, are accustomed to thinking of cislunar navigation as occurring largely with the plane of the Moon's orbit. And so it is depicted in some of the simplified NASA diagrams, those published in, for example, the press kits. However the transfer orbits are significantly inclined, leading to the ability to skirt the edges of the Van Allen belts.

    Bob Braeunig modeled this orbit in great detail here: http://www.braeunig.us/apollo/apollo11-TLI.htm

    I provided a somewhat simpler and tastier model, using cardboard and a doughnut:
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00461.jpg
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00462.jpg
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00463.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by angelalice View Post
    First, I stress I'm not posting as a believer in the hoax-theory, I'm just looking for some information.

    The VA belts seem to have become a focus of 'debate' on this topic and part of the reason seems to be a certain blurriness about the core data. NASA says the belts are safe in rapid transit, the hoax-believers deny this and point to Van Allen's initial findings as published in Scientific American. But this can't be the only publication on the subject. Either VA himself or other scientists must have published follow-up studies that make it clear how and why the belts are safe if transited at speed. It would help get a clearer picture if that data could be quoted alongside the much-used SA article wouldn't it? I'm currently trying to track down some additional references, but haven't found anything readily available online.
    Unfortunately, proper scholarly references often require journal access or $$$ to get. I have access, but obviously for copyright reasons can't "share" that access. Anyway, a good early reference is "Biology of Space Travel" in the journal Nature 188, 1078-1080 (24 December 1960). In short, it summarizes the expected dose on a short flight straight through the belts. It estimates 15-20 rads for a round trip, obviously a lot more than was actually received, but this is not assuming any circumvention of the belts by using a trajectory inclined to the equator as was the case for Apollo. It is mentioned that a polar route dramatically reduces the dose, though they don't give an exact number. It's actually a description of a symposium that was given, which is why it's somewhat vague, but it's also very easy to understand and see that they did not consider it a show stopper by any means. They also specifically mention the fact that most of the electrons in the belts will be stopped by the walls of the spacecraft, a fact that hoaxies often neglect to mention or acknowledge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post


    So, that box of donuts on the drafting table was really engineering supplies. Now I understand.
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    Don't most spacecraft have radiation sensors on board? Just as a matter of course, so the operators have real numbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
    Bob Braeunig modeled this orbit in great detail here: http://www.braeunig.us/apollo/apollo11-TLI.htm

    I provided a somewhat simpler and tastier model, using cardboard and a doughnut:
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00461.jpg
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00462.jpg
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00463.jpg
    This video (based on Bob B.'s work) shows it quite nicely.
    Last edited by Swift; 2012-Apr-23 at 03:21 PM. Reason: removed embedded video

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    Last edited by Swift; 2012-Apr-23 at 03:22 PM. Reason: removed embedded video

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    A reminder about videos, from Rule 8
    Additionally, don't embed a huge image (meaning an image that's over 100k or 800 pixels wide) or a video of any size inline using the [img] or [video] tags. We still have dialup users and others with limited bandwidth for whom downloading a large image would be a significant annoyance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
    Mmmmm. Trans-Lunarliciousness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post


    So, that box of donuts on the drafting table was really engineering supplies. Now I understand.
    I think I can even deduct it as a business expense.

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    For non-NASA radiation results, there is the Zond 5 & 7 results.
    "should no solar flare occur, seven-day flights along the trajectories of Zond-5 and 7 probes are safe from the radiation point of view."

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    Wow guys - such really helpful replies! I'm going to run through all the links now. Thanks loads.

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    Here's a tool that will allow you to calculate the dose on a given trajectory using AP-8, AE-8, and a host of other radiation models:
    http://www.spenvis.oma.be/

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    Quote Originally Posted by angelalice View Post
    NASA says the belts are safe in rapid transit, the hoax-believers deny this and point to Van Allen's initial findings as published in Scientific American. But this can't be the only publication on the subject. Either VA himself or other scientists must have published follow-up studies that make it clear how and why the belts are safe if transited at speed...
    Yep, it says a great deal about the quality of their arguments when the HB's refer to an original article (when the discovery of the belts was quite unexpected) and then ignore 50+ years of subsequent investigation and refinement with instruments specialised to that purpose.

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    Angelalice - welcome. If there is anything missing or puzzling about the information, don't hesitate to come back to verify/discuss it.

    May I ask what you will be doing with your newfound info? Are you debating this elsewhere, or is this just personal curiosity - if so, what led you down this path?

    I'm always curious on how anyone initially stumbles upon the moon hoax believers - it seems to me that there aren't many serious one's left and it's not a very mainstream topic.. If they aren't serious - many folks just love conspiracies for the sake of being a 'rebel' (or troll) - then no amount of logic will sway them from their fantasy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGN Fuel View Post
    Yep, it says a great deal about the quality of their arguments when the HB's refer to an original article (when the discovery of the belts was quite unexpected) and then ignore 50+ years of subsequent investigation and refinement with instruments specialised to that purpose.
    It's even more egregious when the original author of that article, the namesake of the phenomenon, and the principal investigator of them for more than 40 years specifically says to them, "No you guys have it all wrong." I mean, how much more do you need?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
    It's even more egregious when the original author of that article, the namesake of the phenomenon, and the principal investigator of them for more than 40 years specifically says to them, "No you guys have it all wrong." I mean, how much more do you need?
    It's a shame he had a name like Van Allen. It has a certain seriousness to it. Why couldn't he have been named James Fluffyboots? HBers would have a much harder time doing the FUD routine with the Fluffyboots Belts.

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    Hi, angelalice. Welcome to the board.

    This question gets brought up periodically, and has been answered numerous times.

    Here is Count Zero's list of unmanned probes which characterized the space environment. Jay's DAE (Donut-Assisted Engineering) model and Count Zero's list are both from this thread at the old Apollohoax forum. A lot of people in that thread produced quite a bit of work discussing the Van Allen belts and the trajectories used to minimize exposure to their charged particles. The best of all is Bob Braeunig's Apollo 11 Translunar Trajectory, which is simply outstanding.

    Many spacecraft - commercial, civil, and military - operate in the Van Allen belts continuously, or transit them, or encounter the bit over the South Atlantic Anomaly regularly - and they are desgined using the same data used by Apollo (or later refinements thereo)f. The SPENVIS system mentioned above uses such data. If the Apollo data was bogus, spacecraft would be failing much earlier than planned, and operators and insurers would be very unhappy.

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    Go to the Nasa Technical reports server. You can find documents on just about any aspect of spaceflight. A lot of the material is in a free pdf format.

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp

    Just search on Apollo and radiation and you will find many many reports prior to the Apollo missions which examined the radiation problem.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
    Van Allen's findings in Scientific American were rudimentary. At that time, the size and composition of the Van Allen belts were not very well known. Yes, since then an enormous amount of science has been done to characterize the trapped radiation belts and the magnetosphere. A great deal of commercial spacefaring depends on that work being accurate, so that commercial spacecraft can be properly designed to accommodate it. Hence it's very unlikely that the published results these days are somehow doctored or misrepresented.

    The models are known collectively as AP8 and AE8, and rather than being a single figure or table, it is a computer algorithm that gives radiation parameters (flux/energy profiles etc.) for some point within the belts at some point in time. This accounts for seasonal fluctuations. The algorithm and its vast library of supporting detail are maintained by the National Space Science Data Center.

    The inclination of the departure orbit is the key. Hoax believers, along with other laymen, are accustomed to thinking of cislunar navigation as occurring largely with the plane of the Moon's orbit. And so it is depicted in some of the simplified NASA diagrams, those published in, for example, the press kits. However the transfer orbits are significantly inclined, leading to the ability to skirt the edges of the Van Allen belts.

    Bob Braeunig modeled this orbit in great detail here: http://www.braeunig.us/apollo/apollo11-TLI.htm

    I provided a somewhat simpler and tastier model, using cardboard and a doughnut:
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00461.jpg
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00462.jpg
    http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s...s/DSC00463.jpg
    Well it is not as though you'd shoot the moon without directing oneself more or less along the plane of the lunar orbit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodnightsnookieukums View Post
    Well it is not as though you'd shoot the moon without directing oneself more or less along the plane of the lunar orbit.
    Expressly false. Why do you think one should?

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    As a small aside.

    I was hesitating about post a new thread about this, as there is no conspiracy, but I couldn't think of a more pertinent group to ask this question and then saw this sort of related thread.

    A medical imaging specialist has informed me that because of an earlier head injury which resulted in a lot of x-rays, MRI's and cat scans throughout the 80's and 90's, that he was very uncomfortible with me getting another one again in life, unless I absolutely needed it.

    He wouldn't let me pin him down on a guessitmation of exposure but what he did say, and where it becomes germaine to the subject was:

    "If you were an astronaunt you couldn't go back into space anymore"

    I said, "By a lot or by a little?"

    He said, "Roughly 20 percent more than needed to ground you. Roughly"

    Does anybody have a clue as to what range that would be?
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    Lifetime absorbed dose limit for a male astronaut aged 55 or older is 1470 mSv.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodnightsnookieukums View Post
    Well it is not as though you'd shoot the moon without directing oneself more or less along the plane of the lunar orbit.
    Why?

    To arrive at the moon you only need to aim for where the Moon will be by the time you arrive there. What difference does it make if you get there along the plane of the lunar orbit or at 90 degrees to it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    A medical imaging specialist has informed me that because of an earlier head injury which resulted in a lot of x-rays, MRI's and cat scans throughout the 80's and 90's, that he was very uncomfortible with me getting another one again in life, unless I absolutely needed it.
    Can't directly answer your question, but CT/CAT scans do involve relatively high doses of x-rays, much larger than those involved in an ordinary x-ray. MRIs, on the other hand, don't involve ionizing radiation and don't contribute to cancer risk.

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    Thank you very much Jay.
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    James, you snuck one in on me.

    Thank you too. I knew one of those two didn't irradiate you, but i couldn't recall which one so I included both.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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