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Lecture: Explore the Dangers of Space Radiation

Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Location: Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, US,

Once astronauts venture beyond Earth's protective atmosphere, they are exposed to the high-energy particles of space radiation. What they are and how they can be protected against will be discussed Tuesday, Feb. 6 at NASA's Langley Research Center and again at the Virginia Air and Space Center, both in Hampton.

John Norbury, lead research physicist at Langley's Space Radiation Group, will give the lecture at 2 p.m. in Langley's Pearl Young Theater as part of the center's Colloquium Series lecture. Norbury will give the talk at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air and Space Center as part of the Sigma Series of lectures.

The Sigma Series talk is free, while the lecture at Langley is for employees and the news media. Media wishing to attend the Langley lecture should contact Michael Finneran at 757-864-6110 or by noon Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The harmful effects of space radiation, such as galactic cosmic rays and solar particle events, are a major concern for human deep space missions. The talk will begin with an introduction to space radiation issues for space missions and aircraft as well. The talk will conclude with a discussion of possible long-term solutions.

Norbury holds bachelor's and master's degrees in experimental nuclear physics from the University of Melbourne in Australia and a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from the University of Idaho. He has held positions as professor of physics and physics department chair at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

From 1998 to 2000, Norbury served as director of the NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, and from 2014 to 2016 was scientific director of the NASA Space Radiation Summer School held at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He has published approximately 100 papers in externally refereed journals and has supervised seven doctoral dissertations. In 2004, Norbury received the Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2016, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and in 2017 was inducted into the University of Idaho Hall of Fame. Norbury is also a fellow of the Institute of Physics.

NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma lectures provide monthly talks and demonstrations related to science and technology. The lectures are intended to stimulate the creative processes of Langley employees and enhance the quality of life at Langley by providing more opportunities for learning. For more information about NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma Series Lectures, visit

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