First measurements of the radiation dose on the lunar surface

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Science Advances  25 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 39, eaaz1334
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz1334


Human exploration of the Moon is associated with substantial risks to astronauts from space radiation. On the surface of the Moon, this consists of the chronic exposure to galactic cosmic rays and sporadic solar particle events. The interaction of this radiation field with the lunar soil leads to a third component that consists of neutral particles, i.e., neutrons and gamma radiation. The Lunar Lander Neutrons and Dosimetry experiment aboard China’s Chang’E 4 lander has made the first ever measurements of the radiation exposure to both charged and neutral particles on the lunar surface. We measured an average total absorbed dose rate in silicon of 13.2 ± 1 μGy/hour and a neutral particle dose rate of 3.1 ± 0.5 μGy/hour.

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