Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars science laboratory's curiosity rover

MSL Science Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

463 Scopus citations

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 (US)
Article number1244797
JournalScience
Volume343
Issue number6169
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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