At the meeting of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on Outer Space (COPUOS), held between February 7-18, 2022, Balázs Zábori, a space engineer from the Space Research Laboratory of the ELKH Centre for Energy Research (EK-CER), gave a presentation entitled Space Dosimetry – Hungarian Innovations. The presentation, held at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (KKM), reflected on the challenges of a new era of human spaceflight, which are particularly timely for Hungary with the launch of the Hungarian Human Spaceflight Orbiter (HUNOR) program.
We are at the dawn of a new era of human spaceflight, where humankind is expanding its presence in space, both in space and time, following more than two decades of preparations, technological and scientific innovations.
New human missions to the surface of our celestial companion, the Moon, will begin under the ARTEMIS program, while Lunar Gateway, a manned space station and spacecraft around the Moon, is under construction. Astronauts will be able to spend increasing amounts of time on the surface of the Moon, in preparation for the first manned Mars expedition planned for the 2030s. All these space missions pose a number of technological challenges, one of the most significant of which is the study of cosmic radiation and its short- and long-term effects on technology and the human body, and the development of mechanisms to protect against radiation. Our country has a scientific and technological history of almost 50 years in these areas, most notably the famous Pille space dosimeter. Meanwhile, the EK Space Research Laboratory has launched a number of new projects to support future human spaceflight.
The EK-CER is also leading the development of the first European research experimental unit, which will be located inside the Gateway lunar orbiter from its first deployment. It will be used for dosimetric measurements of cosmic radiation and to protect astronauts.
It is also to the credit of EK-CER space researchers that Hungary will be the first to build a complex cosmic radiation and dosimetric measurement system for mankind’s first mission to Mars, which will return to Earth from the red planet. The experiment will thus provide crucial scientific and technological information in preparation for the first manned mission to Mars.
Balázs Zábori’s presentation can be found here.
The technical presentations in English are available here.