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Mars: First Radiation Measurements from Planet’s Surface

RATE THIS! +37
Posted in Science on 29th Dec, 2013 01:31 AM by AlexMuller

Scientists using the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) aboard the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover have made detailed measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the surface of the Red Planet.

 
“Our measurements provide crucial information for human missions to Mars. We’re continuing to monitor the radiation environment, and seeing the effects of major solar storms on the surface and at different times in the solar cycle will give additional important data,” said Dr Don Hassler of Southwest Research Institute, who is the lead author of the paper published online in the journal Science.
 
“Our measurements also tie into Curiosity’s investigations about habitability. The radiation sources that are of concern for human health also affect microbial survival as well as the preservation of organic chemicals.”
 
Two forms of radiation pose potential health risks to astronauts: a chronic low dose of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and the possibility of short-term exposures to the solar energetic particles (SEPs) associated with solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
 
The radiation on Mars is much harsher than on Earth for two reasons: Mars lacks a global magnetic field and the Martian atmosphere is much thinner than Earth’s, providing little shielding to the surface.
 
This environmental factor poses a challenge for future human exploration of Mars and is also important in understanding both geological and potential biological evolution on Mars.

Tags: spacespace explorationMarsCuriosityradiationMars colony

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-29
+3
It would be great to find this answers because it will provide information about requirements for anyone visiting Mars - type of protection for example
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-29
+1
Yes, they made the calculations. Most radiation exposure will be during outbound and return travel from the radiation environment in interplanetary space, shielded only by the spacecraft itself. Together with a 500-day mission on the surface, the total exposure would be around 1 Sv. This dose- 1 Sv- is associated with a five percent increase in fatal cancer risk. Not a lot but significant!

2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-29
+0
NASA has already established a three percent increased risk of fatal cancer as an acceptable career limit for astronauts in low earth orbit Reply
Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-29
+2
I think that some believe that we will be going to Mars faster with the new propulsion devices. It won't take 180 days anymore, it'll be about 40.
This would reduce radiation Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-29
+0
Finally, Mars is getting attention that it deserves. Learning history of Mars could give us important pointers about our own planet Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-29
+1
Scientists have no doubts that oceans and rivers once pooled on the surface of Mars, but what happened to all that water is a long-standing mystery. The prime suspect is the sun, which has been peeling away the planet's atmosphere for billions of years. Reply


 

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