Measurements of radiation levels at Mars including the contributions of protons, neutrons, and heavy ions, are pre-requisites for human exploration. The MARIE experiment on the Mars-01 Odyssey spacecraft consists of a spectrometer to make such measurements in Mars orbit. MARIE is measuring the galactic cosmic ray energy spectra during the maximum of the 24th solar cycle, and studying the dynamics of solar particle events and their radial dependence in orbit of Mars. The MARIE spectrometer is designed to measure the energy spectrum from 15 to 500 MeV/n, and when combined other space based instruments, such as the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), would provide accurate GCR spectra. Similarly, observations of solar energetic particles can be combined with observations at different points in the inner heliosphere from, for example, the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), to gain information on the propagation and radial dependence in the Earth-Mars space. Measurements can be compared with the best available radiation environment and transport models in order to improve these models for subsequent use, and to provide key inputs for the engineering of spacecraft to better protect the human crews exploring Mars.
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Badhwar, G.D. Martian Radiation EnvIronment Experiment (MARIE). Space Science Reviews 110, 131–142 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:SPAC.0000021009.68228.a8
- Solar Energetic Particle
- Linear Energy Transfer
- Solar Energetic Particle Event
- Advance Composition Explorer
- Martian Atmosphere