PIA17601: Radiation Exposure Comparisons with Mars Trip Calculation
Target Name: Mars
Mission: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
Spacecraft: Curiosity
Instrument: RAD
Product Size: 900 x 1017 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: SwRI
Full-Res TIFF: PIA17601.tif (2.747 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA17601.jpg (85.27 kB)

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Measurements with the MSL Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover during the flight to Mars and now on the surface of Mars enable an estimate of the radiation astronauts would be exposed to on an expedition to Mars. NASA reference missions reckon with durations of 180 days for the trip to Mars, a 500-day stay on Mars, and another 180-day trip back to Earth. RAD measurements inside shielding provided by the spacecraft show that such a mission would result in a radiation exposure of about 1 sievert, with roughly equal contributions from the three stages of the expedition. A Sievert is a measurement unit of radiation exposure to biological tissue. This graphic shows the estimated amounts for humans on a Mars mission and amounts for some other activities.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the mission's Curiosity rover for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI

Image Addition Date:
2013-12-09