What is the absorbed dose (rad/hr) rate on the lunar surface from Galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particle during the solar minimum and maximum.  Also were can I find this information in the literature/publications?

Average solar radiation for spacecraft is ~0.3 Sv per year for solar minimums and ~1.0 Sv per year for solar maximums.  Keep in mind that these numbers are totaled for a whole year and the planetary body (the Moon) will shield them from radiation for ~1/2 of the year, so these numbers will be divided roughly in half.  These numbers come from: L.W. Townsend, F.A. Cucinotta, and J.W. Wilson, 1992, “Interplanetary Crew Exposure Estimates for Galactic Cosmic Rays,” Radiation Research 129:48-52.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is scheduled for launch in late April 2009 and one of its primary missions is to study the lunar radiation environment, so you may want to keep tabs on its progress as well.

Radiation during solar particle events can exceed several grays and will be deadly to humans if exposed to this radiation.  For more on this effect, please review: J.L. Parsons and L.W. Townsend, 200, “Interplanetary Crew Dose Rates for the August 1972 Solar Particle Event,” Radiation Research 153:729-733.

Brad Bailey

NLSI Staff Scientist

February 9, 2009

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