ANS Nuclear Matinee: Measuring Radiation on Mars

August 10, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Even before its successful landing earlier this week, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory was already sending back important scientific data-about the radiation exposure that astronauts might face during a mission to the Red Planet.

Now, the Curiosity rover's Radiation Assessment Detector is collecting information about the radiation environment on the surface of Mars. Cosmic rays and energetic particles from the sun can be very important factors for past or present life on Mars, and for future human exploration as well. Don Hassler, principal investigator for Curiosity's Radiation Assessment Detector, explains.



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