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Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Surface Properties, Cosmic Radiation, radiation effects, Space Flight, Radiation Dosage, analysis, Organic Chemicals, Mars, Humans, Extraterrestrial Environment, Exobiology, physiology, Deinococcus

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      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.

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      Most cited references 44

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.1126/science.1244797
            24324275

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