02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Radiation Assessment Detector for Mars Science LaboratoryThis instrument, shown prior to its September 2010 installation onto NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, will aid future human missions to Mars by providing information about the radiation environment on Mars and on the way to Mars.
It is the Radiation Assessment Detector, or RAD, one of 10 science instruments for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which will land Curiosity on Mars in August 2012. Southwest Research Insitute, in San Antonio, Texas, and Boulder, Colo., supplied this instrument in collaboration with Germany's national aerospace research center, Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt. This image shows the flight hardware, with a red "remove before flight" cover on top of the instrument's telescope.
The Radiation Assessment Detector will monitor high-energy atomic and subatomic particles from the sun, from distant supernovas and from other natural sources. These particles are natural radiation that could be harmful to astronauts on a Mars mission or to any microbes near the surface of Mars.
The installed instrument's telescope faces upward from a position near the front left corner of Curiosity's deck, with a 65-degree field of view. Two kinds of detectors in the instrument monitor charged particles. A third type detects neutral particles produced by charged-particle radiation's interaction with the Martian atmosphere or ground.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI