Engineering 1. Flying to the Moon

2. Receiving CRaTER

3. Detecting Cosmic

4. Simulating Human

5. Testing CRaTER


3. Detecting Cosmic Rays
  Cosmic Ray Detector
A cosmic ray detector identical to the ones in CRaTER. A fingertip is shown for scale. (Andrew Jordan)

Cosmic rays are subatomic particles, so they can only be detected by special equipment. To do this, CRaTER has six detectors made of silicon. When a cosmic ray hits or passes through the detector, it creates a small electrical current in the silicon. A computer records the amount of current created.

This information tells us how many cosmic rays hit the six detectors. Every time we see a "blip" of current, we know CRaTER has detected a cosmic ray. By analyzing the blip, we can also estimate the cosmic ray's type and speed.

Ray, the Cosmic Ray

“As a cosmic ray, I protest the use of those detectors.  Let’s quickly move on to
4. Simulating Human Tissue.”