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Mars’ Surface Radiation Environment Measured with the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Rover

Hassler, Donald M. and Zeitlin, Cary and Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F. and Ehresmann, Bent and Rafkin, Scot and Eigenbrode, Jennifer L. and Brinza, David E. and Weigle, Gerald and Böttcher, Stephan and Böhm, Eckart and Burmeister, Soenke and Guo, Jingnan and Köhler, Jan and Martin, Cesar and Reitz, Guenther and Cucinotta, Francis A. and Kim, Myung-Hee and Grinspoon, David and Bullock, Mark A. and Posner, Arik and Gómez-Elvira, Javier and Vasavada, Ashwin and Grotzinger, John P. (2014) Mars’ Surface Radiation Environment Measured with the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Rover. Science, 343 (6169). Art. no. 1244797. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.1244797.

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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 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.

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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle PDF Abstract PDF Article material ItemArchived data in NASA Planetary Data System’s Planetary Plasma Interactions Node
Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.0000-0003-3089-1986
Vasavada, Ashwin0000-0003-2665-286X
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Additional Information:Copyright 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Accepted by Science, 12 November 2013. Received for publication 16 August 2013. Accepted for publication 13 November 2013. Published Online December 9 2013. This paper is dedicated to Dr. Michael J. Wargo at NASA HQ, who passed away unexpectedly on August 4, 2013. Mike was Chief Exploration Scientist in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD), and an enthusiastic supporter of collaborative projects between Science and Exploration. He was a strong supporter of RAD, and a valuable member of both the science and exploration communities. He was a good friend and a wonderful human being, and he will be greatly missed. RAD is supported by NASA under JPL subcontract #1273039 to Southwest Research Institute and in Germany by Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) and DLR's Space Administration grant numbers 50QM0501 and 50 QM1201 to the Christian Albrechts University, Kiel. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contact with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We would like to extend sincere gratitude to Jeff Simmonds and Joy Crisp at JPL, Gale Allen, Michael Meyer, Chris Moore, Victoria Friedensen and Rich Williams at NASA HQ, and Heiner Witte at DLR in Germany for their unwavering support of RAD over the years. The authors would also like to thank the reviewers for their careful and thoughtful comments and suggestions. The data used in this paper are archived in the NASA Planetary Data System’s Planetary Plasma Interactions Node at the University of California, Los Angeles. The archival volume includes the full binary raw data files, detailed descriptions of the structures therein, and higher-level data products in human-readable form. The PPI node is hosted at the following URL:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QM0501
Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50QM1201
Subject Keywords:Mars ; Mars Science Laboratory ; Curiosity ; surface radiation
Non-Subject Keywords:Mars Science Laboratory ; Curiosity ; NASA
Issue or Number:6169
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131122-100731055
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Official Citation: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 Posner, Javier Gómez-Elvira, Ashwin Vasavada, John P. Grotzinger, and MSL Science Team Science 24 January 2014: 343 (6169), 1244797Published online 9 December 2013 [DOI:10.1126/science.1244797]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42648
Deposited By: Katherine Johnson
Deposited On:09 Dec 2013 22:05
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:26

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