Modelling the surface and subsurface Martian radiation environment: Implications for astrobiology

  title={Modelling the surface and subsurface Martian radiation environment: Implications for astrobiology},
  author={L. R. Dartnell and Laurent Desorgher and J. M. Ward and A. J. Coates},
  journal={Geophysical Research Letters},
The damaging effect of ionising radiation on cellular structure is one of the prime limiting factors on the survival of life in potential astrobiological habitats. Here we model the propagation of solar energetic protons and galactic cosmic ray particles through the Martian atmosphere and three different surface scenarios: dry regolith, water ice, and regolith with layered permafrost. Particle energy spectra and absorbed radiation dose are determined for the surface and at regular depths… 


The damaging effect of ionizing radiation on cellular structure is one of the major limiting factors on the survival of life in potential extraterrestrial habitats. Here we describe in detail the

Computer modeling and experimental work on the astrobiological implications of the martian subsurface ionising radiation environment

Any microbial life extant in the top meters of the martian subsurface is likely to be held dormant for long periods of time by the current permafrost conditions. In this potential habitable zone, a

Martian sub-surface ionising radiation: biosignatures and geology

Abstract. The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionising radiation field is deleterious to the survival of

Subsurface Radiation Environment of Mars and Its Implication for Shielding Protection of Future Habitats

In order to quantify the optimal radiation shielding depth on Mars in preparation for future human habitats on the red planet, it is important to understand the Martian radiation environment and its

The Responses of the Black Fungus Cryomyces Antarcticus to High Doses of Accelerated Helium Ions Radiation within Martian Regolith Simulants and Their Relevance for Mars

Study of the impact of accelerated He ions as a component of the galactic cosmic rays on the black fungus C. antarcticus and two Martian regolith simulants suggests that viable Earth-like microorganisms can be preserved in the dormant state in the near-surface scenario for approximately 322.000 and 110.000 Earth years.

Insights into the Survival Capabilities of Cryomyces antarcticus Hydrated Colonies after Exposure to Fe Particle Radiation

Results showed that Cryomyces antarcticus survived in a metabolically active state when subjected to high doses of Fe ions and was able to repair eventual DNA damages, implying that some terrestrial life forms can withstand prolonged exposure to space-relevant ion radiation.

From the Top of Martian Olympus to Deep Craters and Beneath: Mars Radiation Environment Under Different Atmospheric and Regolith Depths

In preparation for future human habitats on Mars, it is important to understand the Martian radiation environment. Mars does not have an intrinsic magnetic field and Galactic cosmic ray (GCR)

Modelling Extraterrestrial Radiation Environments for Astrobiology

This project is concerned with estimating the probability of bacteria being able to survive beneath the surface of Mars, given the harsh environmental conditions which exist there. To make such an

Preservation of potential biosignatures in the shallow subsurface of Europa

Jupiter’s moon Europa, which is thought to possess a large liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust, is one of the most compelling targets in the search for life beyond Earth. Its geologically young

Survivability of Soil and Permafrost Microbial Communities after Irradiation with Accelerated Electrons under Simulated Martian and Open Space Conditions

One of the prior current astrobiological tasks is revealing the limits of microbial resistance to extraterrestrial conditions. Much attention is paid to ionizing radiation, since it can prevent the



Cosmic Ray and UV Radiation Models on the Ancient Martian Surface

Abstract The atmospheric evolution on Mars is influenced by nonthermal loss processes of heavy atmospheric constituents. Since Mars does not have an appreciable intrinsic magnetic field at present

Zones of photosynthetic potential on Mars and the early Earth

Radiation climate map for analyzing risks to astronauts on the mars surface from galactic cosmic rays

The potential risks for late effects including cancer, cataracts, and neurological disorders due to exposures to the galactic cosmic rays (GCR) is a large concern for the human exploration of Mars.

Natural Transfer of Viable Microbes in Space: 1. From Mars to Earth and Earth to Mars

The possibility and probability of natural transfer of viable microbes from Mars to Earth and Earth to Mars traveling in meteoroids during the first 0.5 Ga and the following 4 Ga are investigated,

Scenarios for the evolution of life on Mars

Received 10 March 2005; revised 2 August 2005; accepted 7 September 2005; published 22 November 2005. [1] As the environmental histories of Earth and Mars have diverged drastically after the first

Comparison of Martian Meteorites and Martian Regolith as Shield Materials for Galactic Cosmic Rays

Abstract Theoretical calculations of radiation attenuation due to energetic galacticcosmic rays behind Martian rock and Martian regolith material have been madeto compare their utilization as shields

Subfreezing activity of microorganisms and the potential habitability of Mars' polar regions.

The environment in the Mars polar regions has overlapped habitable conditions within relatively recent epochs, and Mars appears to be on the edge of being habitable at present.

Radiation protection for human missions to the Moon and Mars

Radiation protection assessments are performed for advanced Lunar and Mars manned missions. The Langley cosmic ray transport code and the nucleon transport code are used to quantify the transport and

Fundamental space radiobiology.

  • G. Nelson
  • Physics
    Gravitational and space biology bulletin : publication of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology
  • 2003
Traditional concepts of dose and its associated normalization parameter, RBE (relative biological effectiveness), break down under experimental scrutiny, and probabilistic models of risk based on the number of particle traversals per cell may be more appropriate.