Mars’ surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Rover

Donald M. Hassler*, Cary Zeitlin, Robert F. Wimmer-Schweingruber, Bent Ehresmann, Scot Rafkin, Jennifer L. Eigenbrode, David E. Brinza, Gerald Weigle, Stephan Böttcher, Eckart Böhm, Soenke Burmeister, Jingnan Guo, Jan Köhler, Cesar Martin, Guenther Reitz, Francis A. Cucinotta, Myung-Hee Kim, David Grinspoon, Mark A. Bullock, Arik PosnerJavier Gõmez-Elvira, Ashwin Vasavada, John P. Grotzinger, MSL Science Team

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

253 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1244797
Number of pages7
JournalScience
Volume343
Issue number6169
Early online date9 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2014

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    Hassler, D. M., Zeitlin, C., Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F., Ehresmann, B., Rafkin, S., Eigenbrode, J. L., Brinza, D. E., Weigle, G., Böttcher, S., Böhm, E., Burmeister, S., Guo, J., Köhler, J., Martin, C., Reitz, G., Cucinotta, F. A., Kim, M-H., Grinspoon, D., Bullock, M. A., ... MSL Science Team (2014). Mars’ surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Rover. Science, 343(6169), [1244797]. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1244797