...(As opposed to NASA's "basic rocket science computing division?")
Irina Kitiashvili, according to the NASA's Official Biography Profile, "produces 3D simulations of radiative magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) processes on the Sun... Her research pursuits include realistic-type numerical simulations of solar and stellar MHD phenomena, and prediction of solar activity using data assimilation methods. Her recent projects include investigations of magnetic self-organization in the turbulent plasma of the solar convection zone, the formation of compact magnetic structures (sunspots and pores), magnetized vortex tubes, plasma eruptions and local turbulent dynamo processes." (Source Here)
...For those of us without a PhD from Moscow State University and Stanford, here's what that means:
And she can forecast when the most ideal non-life threatening conditions are for astronauts, space travelers and Mars land rovers.
What Makes Irina Katiashvili The "Best Man For The Job?"
Ms. Kitiashvili uses methods that differ from previous prediction tools:
While her predecessors used "the number of sunspots to represent indirectly the activity of the solar magnetic field," Kitiashvili's approach focuses upon "direct observations of magnetic fields emerging on the surface of the Sun – data which has only existed for the last four solar cycles" according to NASA as cited here.
What's a Solar Cycle?
And Define "Too Hot, Too Dangerous" for Space Travel:
An average solar cycle is 11 years.
As for the query 'how hot is too hot and dangerous?'
Let's just say even Chuck Norris would think twice about packing his bags.
With sun spots whose magnetic fields are thousands more times stronger than the Earth's, the sun can sneeze a 'coronal mass ejection' at 900 miles per second that looks like this:
Photo Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Hence, with outbursts like this- there's a reason that Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 missions occurred BEFORE and AFTER August 1972, but avoided that specific month like an ex at Prom. "Hell hath no fury like a..." summer solar storm of 1972!
Here's looking forward to space travel during the calmest solar cycle in 2 centuries! The universe's weather conditions are so good- the rocket will be taking off