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Science. 2013 May 31;340(6136):1080-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1235989.

Measurements of energetic particle radiation in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory.

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  • 1Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, USA.


The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, containing the Curiosity rover, was launched to Mars on 26 November 2011, and for most of the 253-day, 560-million-kilometer cruise to Mars, the Radiation Assessment Detector made detailed measurements of the energetic particle radiation environment inside the spacecraft. These data provide insights into the radiation hazards that would be associated with a human mission to Mars. We report measurements of the radiation dose, dose equivalent, and linear energy transfer spectra. The dose equivalent for even the shortest round-trip with current propulsion systems and comparable shielding is found to be 0.66 ± 0.12 sievert.

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