Uranium Decay Products Found On Mir Space Blanket Mitt
Gamma-ray spectra; Nuclear batteries; Nuclear tests; Solar wind; Space blanket; Supernovae; Uranium
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 214Bi and 214Pb 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.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Number of Pages
Source API URL
Grismore, R.; Rosen, A. Z.; and Llewellyn, R. A., "Uranium Decay Products Found On Mir Space Blanket Mitt" (2001). Scopus Export 2000s. 516.