Deep space exploration by humans has become more realistic, with planned returns to the Moon, travel to Mars, and beyond. Space radiation with a low dose rate would be a constant risk for space travelers. The combined effects of space radiation and partial gravity such as on the Moon and Mars are unknown. The difficulty for such research is that there are no good simulating systems on the ground to investigate these combined effects. To address this knowledge gap, we developed the Simulator of the environments on the Moon and Mars with Neutron irradiation and Gravity change (SwiNG) for in vitro experiments using disposable closed cell culture chambers. The device simulates partial gravity using a centrifuge in a three-dimensional clinostat. Six samples are exposed at once to neutrons at a low dose rate (1 mGy/day) using Californium-252 in the center of the centrifuge. The system is compact including two SwiNG devices in the incubator, one with and one without radiation source, with a cooling function. This simulator is highly convenient for ground-based biological experiments because of limited access to spaceflight experiments. SwiNG can contribute significantly to research on the combined effects of space radiation and partial gravity.
- Combined effect
- Low-dose-rate radiation
- Partial gravity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Space and Planetary Science