Uranium decay products found on Mir space blanket mitt
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Environ. Radioact.
gamma-ray spectra; space blanket; uranium; solar wind; nuclear tests; nuclear batteries; supernovae; GEMINGA; Environmental Sciences
The space blanket mitt which covered the Trek detector on Mir during four years of orbital flight has been measured for gamma radiation with HPGe and multidimensional spectrometers. Difference spectra from very-long-period spectrometer runs on the mitt and on a similar non-deployed mitt from the same manufacturer show that the mitt has acquired small but significant amounts of gamma radioactivity during orbital flight. Twelve gamma-ray peaks have been measured in the difference spectra, including peaks identified as due to Bi-214 and Pb-214 from the uranium-radium alpha decay series, and others possibly due to the uranium-actinium series. This implies the presence of a sparse population of uranium decay products in lower orbital space which can only have come from nuclear explosions, burned-up satellite nuclear batteries, the solar wind, or supernova fragments in the local interstellar medium. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
"Uranium decay products found on Mir space blanket mitt" (2001). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 8012.