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Space Environment


Space Enviroment (Credit:csegrecorder.com)

Space Environment affects the operations and design of a spacecraft. The effets that affects the spacecraft are radiation, meteoriod and space debris impact, atmospheric drag, ionosphere, geomagnetic field, spacecraft electrostatic charging and etc.

Radiation derives normally from these three sources:
1) Van Allen Radiation Belts
2) Solar energetic particles and solar proton events
3) Galactic Cosmic Rays

If the duration of the mission is long, high doses of radiation can damage the electronic components and sloar cells and affects the crew well being. A large part of these radiations can be shielded by Earth's geomagnetic field for low near Earth orbits.

Spacecraft electrostatic charging is due to the hot plasma environment around the Earth. The 'hot' electrons gathered on surfaces of spacecraft can evoke kilovolts of electrostatic potentials which causes spacecraft anomalies. Spacecraft shielding, special 'hardening' of electronic systems and collision detection systems are few of the solutions to this problem. (Credit:www.faa.gov & csegrecorder.com)