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PWSP2.0 : Are either Elon Musks or Dennis Tito Mars Missions still viable given the high radiation found on Mars

12 Jun 2013, 19:37 UTC
PWSP2.0 : Are either Elon Musks or Dennis Tito Mars Missions still viable given the high radiation found on Mars
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It is time for idealism about missions to Mars to end. Going there with current technology would carry a significant risk of harmful radiation exposure.

This was made clear at last Thursday's teleconference of results from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) onboard Nasa's Curiosity rover.

During the rover's cruise to Mars between December 2011 and July 2012, RAD showed that an astronaut would clock up the same radiation dose in a day that the average American receives in a year. If you exclude medical dosages, it would be 10 times more than the average American.

Taking these numbers at face value, the radiation from a 500-day round-trip to Mars would exceed Nasa's current safety guidelines.

The data also highlights that the radiation comes in two forms.

Firstly, there are the solar storms. Five times during the cruise, RAD detected precipitous rises in the amount of radiation due to solar flares. However, these turned out to be the least of an astronaut's problems. Although such storms can be dangerous, the particles released accounted for just 5% of the total radiation measured by RAD.

By far the greatest dose came from a second source: the natural bombardment of galactic cosmic rays. These ...

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