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The NASA Radiation Dosimetry Experiment

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The NASA Radiation Dosimetry Experiment (RaD-X) high-altitude balloon mission was successfully launched from Fort Sumner, New Mexico on 25 September, 2015. Over 20 hours of science data were obtained from four dosimeters at altitudes above 20 km. It provided first-time indications of how cosmic rays deposit energy at the top of atmosphere – which produce showers of additional particles that increase the energy deposited where commercial airlines fly. The data from this experiment will improve NASA’s Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation for Aviation Safety (NAIRAS) model, which is currently used by public and private entities for informed decision-making about radiation exposure safety for flight crews, the general public, and commercial space operations.