The solar storm now striking the earth consists mostly of protons and could put space travelers and some air travelers at risk of receiving health-threatening radiation doses.
Current Mass Ejection The earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protect life on the ground, but air travelers, according to NOAA, could receive as much as ten times more radiation than a chest X-ray during the storm, which is expected to last through the weekend.
Walter Friedberg, who monitors the threat of high-altitude radiation exposure for the FAA said that normal air travelers should not be concerned, but advised pregnant women to consider changing their travel plans during this period. “If it was my daughter, and she was pregnant,” Friedberg said, “I’d tell her she might want to wait.”
NASA says the three crew members aboard Space Station Alpha (ISS) are in no danger from the event.
However, flight controllers near Moscow have asked station commander Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev to set up a radiation monitoring device inside the Russian-built modules as a precaution.
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