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Martian Neutron Energy Spectrometer (MANES)High energy charged particles of extragalactic, galactic, and solar origin collide with spacecraft structures and planetary atmospheres. These primaries create a number of secondary particles inside the structures or on the surfaces of planets to produce a significant radiation environment. This radiation is a threat to long term inhabitants and travelers for interplanetary missions and produces an increased risk of carcinogenesis, central nervous system (CNS) and DNA damage. Charged particles are readily detected; but, neutrons, being electrically neutral, are much more difficult to monitor. These secondary neutrons are reported to contribute 30-60% of the dose equivalent in the Shuttle and MIR station. The Martian atmosphere has an areal density of 37 g/sq cm primarily of carbon dioxide molecules. This shallow atmosphere presents fewer mean free paths to the bombarding cosmic rays and solar particles. The secondary neutrons present at the surface of Mars will have undergone fewer generations of collisions and have higher energies than at sea level on Earth. Albedo neutrons produced by collisions with the Martian surface material will also contribute to the radiation environment. The increased threat of radiation damage to humans on Mars occurs when neutrons of higher mean energy traverse the thin, dry Martian atmosphere and encounter water in the astronaut's body. Water, being hydrogeneous, efficiently moderates the high energy neutrons thereby slowing them as they penetrate deeply into the body. Consequently, greater radiation doses can be deposited in or near critical organs such as the liver or spleen than is the case on Earth. A second significant threat is the possibility of a high energy heavy ion or neutron causing a DNA double strand break in a single strike.
Document ID
20010020476
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Maurer, R. H. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD United States)
Roth, D. R. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD United States)
Kinnison, J. D. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD United States)
Goldsten, J. O. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD United States)
Fainchtein, R. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD United States)
Badhwar, G. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 2000
Publication Information
Publication: Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration
Issue: Part 2
Subject Category
Instrumentation and Photography
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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