Materials have a primary purpose in the design of space vehicles, such as fuels, walls, racks, windows, etc. Additionally, each will also effect space radiation protection. The shielding capabilities of 39 materials and nine layering configurations are evaluated for deep space travel in terms of whole-body effective dose equivalent (ED). Polymer and composite materials are also evaluated in terms of . It is clear that a “magic” material or layering configuration is not possible; however, polymers and composites should be used instead of metals if they can serve their primary purpose. Polyethylene is shown to be the best feasible material from this material sample. Thermal neutron absorbers 6Li and 10B do not have a significant effect on ED as homogeneous shields or in layering configurations. Alloying of materials such as aluminum for strengthening purposes does not increase ED. Tanking liquid hydrogen within aluminum does significantly reduce ED when compared to aluminum. Ultimately, a space vehicle is a system of systems and radiation protection must be one of them.