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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2015 Sep;166(1-4):290-4. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncv297. Epub 2015 May 11.

MSL-RAD radiation environment measurements.

Author information

1
Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany guo@physik.uni-kiel.de.
2
Southwest Research Institute, Durham, NH, USA.
3
Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany.
4
Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, USA.
5
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.
6
UNLV, Nevada, USA.
7
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, USA.
8
DLR, Cologne, Germany.

Abstract

In this study, results are presented from the on-board radiation assessment detector (RAD) of Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). RAD is designed to measure the energetic particle radiation environment, which consists of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs) as well as secondary particles created by nuclear interactions of primary particles in the shielding (during cruise) or Martian soil and atmosphere (surface measurements). During the cruise, RAD collected data on space radiation from inside the craft, thus allowing for a reasonable estimation of what a human crew travelling to/from Mars might be exposed to. On the surface of Mars, RAD is shielded by the atmosphere (from above) and the planet itself (from below). RAD measures the first detailed radiation data from the surface of another planet, and they are highly relevant for planning future crewed missions. The results for radiation dose and dose equivalent (a quantity most directly related to human health risk) are presented during the cruise phase, as well as on the Martian surface. Dose and dose equivalent are dominated by the continuous GCR radiation, but several SEP events were also detected and are discussed here.

PMID:
25969529
DOI:
10.1093/rpd/ncv297
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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