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Cancer treatment center in Taoyuan becomes radiation lab for space industry


A cutting-edge cancer treatment center in Taoyuan has found another use as a lab for the space industry. Doctors at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital founded the Proton and Radiation Therapy Center to treat cancer patients. But now a new lab helps the National Space Organization test components for satellites. And even NASA is asking to use their equipment.

A rocket takes off, carrying a satellite into space. Just one danger for satellites is a thing called a Van Allen radiation belt. These zones of charged particles can damage electrical components, effectively destroying satellites in orbit. But Taiwan now boasts a lab that mimics the conditions of those belts.

Here at the Institute for Radiological Research, there are four treatment rooms offering proton radiotherapy to cancer patients – on the weekdays. At weekends, the mysterious fifth laboratory opens. But the subject here is not the human body – it’s electrics.(……more)

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