Research Article
No access
Published Online: 11 June 2019

A Lunar Microbial Survival Model for Predicting the Forward Contamination of the Moon

Publication: Astrobiology
Volume 19, Issue Number 6


The surface conditions on the Moon are extremely harsh with high doses of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation (26.8 W · m−2 UVC/UVB), wide temperature extremes (−171°C to 140°C), low pressure (10−10 Pa), and high levels of ionizing radiation. External spacecraft surfaces on the Moon are generally >100°C during daylight hours and can reach as high as 140°C at local noon. A Lunar Microbial Survival (LMS) model was developed that estimated (1) the total viable bioburden of all spacecraft landed on the Moon as ∼4.57 × 1010 microbial cells/spores at contact, (2) the inactivation kinetics of Bacillus subtilis spores to vacuum as approaching −2 logs per 2107 days, (3) the inactivation of spores on external surfaces due to concomitant low-pressure and high-temperature conditions as −6 logs per 8 h for local noon conditions, and (4) the ionizing radiation by solar wind particles as approaching −3 logs per lunation on external surfaces only. When the biocidal factors of solar UV, vacuum, high-temperature, and ionizing radiation were combined into an integrated LMS model, a theoretical −2479 log reduction in viable bioburden was predicted for external spacecraft surfaces per lunation at the equator. Results indicate that external surfaces of landed or crashed spacecraft are unlikely to harbor viable spores after only one lunation, that shallow internal surfaces will be sterilized due to the interactive effects of vacuum and thermal cycling from solar irradiation, and that deep internal surfaces would be affected only by vacuum with a degradation rate of −0.02 logs per lunation.

Get full access to this article

View all available purchase options and get full access to this article.


Amann, R.I., Ludwig, W., and Schleifer, K.-H. (1995) Phylogenetic identification and in situ detection of individual microbial cells without cultivation. Microbiol Rev 59:143–169.
Anonymous. (December 15, 1971) Apollo 16 Preliminary Lunar Surface Procedures. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston TX.
Anonymous. (November 6, 1972) Apollo 17 Final Lunar Surface Procedures, Vol. 1: Nominal Plans. NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, TX.
Appelbaum, J. and Flood, D.J. (1990) Solar radiation on Mars. Solar Energy 45:353–363.
Arvesen, J.C., Griffin, R.N., and Pearson, B.D. (1969) Determination of extraterrestrial solar spectral irradiance from a research aircraft. Appl Opt 8:2215–2232.
Barney, B.L., Pratt, S.N., and Austin, D.E. (2016) Survivability of bare, individual Bacillus subtilis spores to high-velocity surface impact: implications for microbial transfer through space. Planet Space Sci 125:20–26.
Bücker, H. and Horneck, G. (1975) The biological effectiveness of HZE-particles of cosmic radiation studied in the Apollo16 and 17 Biostack experiments. Acta Astronaut 2:247–264.
Bücker, H., Horneck, G., Wollenhaupt, H., Schwager, M., and Taylor, G.R. (1974) Viability of Bacillus subtilis spores exposed to space environment in the M-191 experiment system aboard Apollo 16. Life Sci Space Res 7:209–213.
Burchell, M.J., Mann, J.R., and Bunch, A.W. (2004) Survival of bacteria and spores under extreme shock pressures. Mon Not R Astron Soc 352:1273–1278.
Cockell, C.S. and Andrady, A.L. (1999) The Martian and extraterrestrial UV radiation environment—1. Biological and closed-loop ecosystem considerations. Acta Astronaut 44:53–62.
Crawford, I.A., Anand, M., Cockell, C.S., Falcke, H., Green, D.A., Jaumann, R., and Wieczorek, M.A. (2012) Back to the Moon: the scientific rationale for resuming lunar surface exploration. Planet Space Sci 74:8–14.
Dachev, T.P., Tomov, B.T., Matviichuk, Y.N., Dimitrov, P.S., Vadawale, S.V., Goswami, J.N., De Angelis, G., and Girish, V. (2011) An overview of RADOM results for earth and moon radiation environment on Chandrayaan-1 satellite. Adv Space Res 48:779–791.
Dillon, R.T., Gavin, W.R., Roark, A.L., and Trauth, C.A. (1973) Estimating the number of terrestrial organisms on the Moon. Space Life Sci 4:180–199.
Dose, K. and Klein, A. (1996) Response of Bacillus subtilis spores to dehydration and UV irradiation at extremely low temperatures. Orig Life 26:47–59.
ESA-ESTEC. (2008) ECSS-E-10-04A, Space Engineering, European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS). Published by Requirements & Standards Division, Nordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA. Available online at
Facius, R., Bücker, H., Hildebrand, D., Horneck, G., Höltz, G., Reitz, G., Schäfer, M., and Toth, B. (1978) Radiobiological results from the Bacillus subtilis Biostack experiments within the Apollo and the ASTP spaceflights. Life Sci Space Res 16:151–156.
Facius, R., Bücker, H., Horneck, G., Reitz, G., and Schäfer, M. (1979) Dosimetric and biological results from the Bacillus subtilis Biostack experiment with the Apollo-Soyuz Test project. Life Sci Space Res 17:123–128.
Fajardo-Cavazos, P., Link, L., Melosh, H.J., and Nicholson, W.L. (2005) Bacillus subtilis spores on artificial meteorites survive hypervelocity atmospheric entry: implications for lithopanspermia. Astrobiology 5:726–736.
Favero, M.S. (1971) Microbiologic assay of space hardware. Environ Biol Med 1:27–36.
Favero, M.S., Puleo, J.R., Marshall, J.H., and Oxborrow, G.S. (1966) Comparative levels and types of microbial contamination detected in industrial clean rooms. Appl Microbiol 14:539–551.
Foster, T.L. and Winans, L. (1975) Psychrophilic microorganisms from areas associated with the Viking spacecraft. Appl Microbiol 30:546–550.
Fraser, S.J., Olson, R.L., and Green, R.H. (1971) Microbial release from solids after simulated hard landings. Life Sci Space Res 9:139–144.
Ghosh, S., Osman, S., Vaishampayan, P., and Venkateswaran, K. (2010) Recurrent isolation of extremotolerant bacteria from the clean room where the Phoenix spacecraft components were assembled. Astrobiology 10:325–335.
Glavin, D.P., Dworkin, J.P., Lupisella, M., Kminek, G., and Rummel, J.D. (2004) Biological contamination studies of lunar landing sites: implications for future planetary protection and life detection on the Moon and Mars. Int J Astrobiol 3:265–271.
Glavin, D.P., Dworkin, J.P., Lupisella, M., Williams, D.R., Kminek, G., and Rummel, J.D. (2010) In situ biological contamination studies of the Moon: implications for planetary protection and life detection. Earth Moon Planets 107:87–93.
Gronstal, A., Cockell, C.S., Perino, A.E., Bittner, T., Clacey, E., Clark, O., Ingold, O., De Oliveira, C.A., and Wathiong, S. (2007) Lunar astrobiology: a review and suggested laboratory equipment. Astrobiology 7:767–782.
Hagen, C.A., Godfrey, J.F., and Green, R.H. (1971) The effect of temperature on the survival of microorganisms in a deep space vacuum. Space Life Sci 3:108–117.
Hassler, D.M., Zeitlin, C., Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F., Rafkin, S., Eigenbrode, J.L., Brinza, D.E., Weigle, G., Böttcher, S., Böhm, E., Burmeister, S., Guo, J., Köhler, J., Martin, C., Reitz, G., Cucinotta, F.A., Kim, M.-H., Grinspoon, D., Bullock, M.A., Posner, A., Gomez-Elvira, J., Vasavada, A.R., and Grotzinger, J.P.; MSL Science Team. (2014) Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. Science 343:1244797.
Herring, C.M., Brandsberg, J.W., Oxborrow, G.S., and Puleo, J.R. (1974) Comparison of media for detection of fungi on spacecraft. Appl Microbiol 27:566–569.
Horneck, G. (1998) Exobiological experiments in earth orbit. Adv Space Res 22:317–326.
Horneck, G., Bücker, H., Reitz, G., Requardt, H., Dose, K., Martens, K.D., Menningmann, H.D., and Weber, P. (1984) Microorganisms in the space environment. Science 225:226–228.
Horneck, G., Schäfer, M., Baltschukat, K., Weisbrod, U., Micke, U., Facius, R., and Bücker, H. (1989) Cell inactivation, repair and mutation induction in bacteria after heavy ion exposure: results from experiments at accelerators and in space. Adv Space Res 9:105–116.
Horneck, G., Bücker, H., and Reitz, G. (1994) Long-Term survival of bacterial spores in space. Adv Space Res 14:41–45.
Horneck, G., Eschweiler, U., Reitz, G., Wehner, J., Willimek, R., and Strauch, K. (1995) Biological responses to space: results of the experiment “Exobiological Unit” of ERA on Eurica I. Adv Space Res 16:105–118.
Horneck, G., Rettberg, P., Reitz, G., Wehner, J., Eschweiler, U., Strauch, K., Panitz, C., Starke, V., and Baumstark-Khan, C. (2001) Protection of bacterial spores in space: a contribution to the discussion of panspermia. Orig Life Evol Biosph 31:527–547.
Horneck, G., Klaus, D.M., and Mancinelli, R.L. (2010) Space microbiology. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 74:121–156.
Hughes Aircraft Company. (1970) Test and Evaluation of the Surveyor III Television Camera Returned from the Moon by Apollo XII. Hughes Aircraft Company Contract Report 952792. Hughes Aircraft Company, Glendale, CA.
Immer, C., Metzger, P., Hintze, P.E., Nick, A., and Horan, R. (2011) Apollo 12 Lunar Module exhaust plume impingement on Lunar Surveyor III. Icarus 211:1089–1102.
Keil, K., Bunch, T.E., and Prinz, M. (1970) Mineralogy and composition of Apollo 11 lunar samples. In Proceedings of the Apollo 11 Lunar Science Conference, Vol. 1, edited by A.A. Levinson, Pergamon Press, Oxford, England, pp 561–598.
Kim, M.-H.-Y., Hayat, M.J., and Feiveson, A.H. (2009) Prediction of frequency and exposure levels of solar particle events. Health Physics 97:68–81.
Knittel, M.D., Favero, M.S., and Green, R.H. (1971) Microbiological sampling of returned Surveyor III electrical cabling. In Proceedings of the Second Lunar Science Conference, Vol. 3, The M.I.T. Press, cambridge, MA, pp 2715–2719.
Koike, J. (1993) Fundamental questions concerning the contamination of other planets with terrestrial microorganisms carried by spaceprobes. J Space Technol Sci 8:9–14.
Koike, J. and Oshima, T. (1993) Planetary quarantine in the solar system. Survival rates of some terrestrial organisms under simulated space conditions by proton irradiation. Acta Astronaut 29:629–632.
Kuhn, W.R. and Atreya, S.K. (1979) Solar radiation incident on the Martian surface. J Mol Evol 14:57–64.
La Duc, M.T., Nicholson, W.L., Kern, R., and Venkateswaran, K. (2003) Microbial characterization of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft and its encapsulation facility. Environ Microbiol 5:977–985.
La Duc, M.T., Kern, R., and Venkateswaran, K. (2004) Microbial monitoring of spacecraft and associated environments. Microbiol Ecol 47:150–158.
La Duc, M.T., Dekas, A., Osman, S., Moissl, C., Newcombe, D., and Venkateswaran, K. (2007) Isolation and characterization of bacteria capable of tolerating the extreme conditions of clean room environments. Appl Environ Microbiol 73:2600–2611.
Langseth, M.G., Clark, S.P., Chute, J.L. Jr., Keihm, S.J., and Wechsler, A.E. (1972) Apollo 15 Heat-Flow Experiment. In Apollo 15 Preliminary Report. NASA Technical Report SP-289. NASA, Washington, DC, pp 11–1 to11–23.
Linnarsson, D., Carpenter, J., Fubini, B., Gerde, P., Karlsson, L.L., Loftus, D.J., Prisk, G.K., Staufer, U., Tranfield, E.M., and van Westrenen, W. (2012). Toxicity of Lunar dust. Planet Space Sci 74:57–71.
Loftus, D.J., Rask, J.C., McCrossin, C.G., and Tranfield, E.M. (2010) The chemical reactivity of Lunar dust: from toxicity to astrobiology. Earth Moon Planets 107:95–105.
Lorenz, P.R., Hotchin, J., Markusen, A.S., Orlob, G.B., Hemenway, C.L., and Hallgrene, D.S. (1968) Survival of microorganisms in space. Space Life Sci 1:118–130.
Lucas, J.W., Conel, J.E., Garipay, R.R., Hagemeyer, W.A., and Saari, J.M. (1966) Lunar surface thermal characteristics. In Surveyor I Mission Report. Part II. Scientific Data & Results, JPL Technical Report 32–1023, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, CA, pp 45–59.
Lucas, J.W., Conel, J.E., Garipay, R.R., Hagemeyer, W.A., Jones, C.B., Saari, J.M., Vitkus, G., and Wang, J.T. (1967a) Lunar temperature and thermal characteristics. In Surveyor III Mission Report. Part IV. Scientific Results, JPL Technical Report 32–1177, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, CA, pp 155–188.
Lucas, J.W., Garipay, R.R., Hagemeyer, W.A., Saari, J.M., Smith, J., and Vitkus, G. (1967b) Lunar surface temperatures and thermal characteristics. In Surveyor V Mission Report. Part II. Science Results, JPL Technical Report 21–1246, Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, CA, pp 89–113.
Mancinelli, R.L. and M. Klovstad (2000) Martian soil and UV radiation: Microbial viability assessment on spacecraft surfaces. Planetary Space Sci 48:1093–1097.
Mazur, J.E., Zeitlin, C., Schwadron, N., Looper, M.D., Townsend, L.W., Blake, J.B., and Spence, H. (2015) Update on radiation dose from galactic and solar protons at the Moon, using the LRO/Crater microdosimeter. Space Weather 13:363–364.
Mewaldt, R.A. (1988) Elemental composition and energy spectra of cosmic rays. In Interplanetary Particle Environment, edited by J. Feynmann and S.B. Gabriel, JPL Publication 88-28. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, pp 121–132.
Mitchell, F.J. and Ellis, W.L. (1971) Surveyor III: bacterium isolated from lunar-retrieved TV camera. In Proceedings of the 2nd Lunar Science Conference, Vol. 3, The M.I.T. Press, cambridge, MA, pp 2721–2733.
Moeller, R., Stackebrandt, E., Reitz, G., Berger, T., Rettberg, P., Doherty, A.J., Horneck, G., and Nicholson, W.L. (2007) Role of DNA repair by nonhomologous-end joining in Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to extreme dryness, mono- and polychromatic UV, and ionizing radiation. J Bacteriol 189:3306–3311.
Moeller, R., Rohde, M., and Reitz, G. (2010) Effects of ionizing radiation on the survival of bacterial spores in artificial martian regolith. Icarus 206:783–786.
Moores, J.E. (2016) Lunar water migration in the interval between large impacts: heterogeneous delivery to Permanently Shadowed Regions, fractionation, and diffusive barriers. J Geophys Res Planets 121:46–60.
Morelli, F.A., Fehlner, F.P., and Stembridge, C.H. (1962) Effect of ultra-high vacuum on Bacillus subtilis var. niger. Nature 196:106–107.
Nicholson, W.L. (2003) Using thermal inactivation kinetics to calculate the probability of extreme spore longevity: implications for paleomicrobiology and lithopanspermia. Orig Life Evol Biosph 33:621–631.
Nicholson, W.L., Munakata, N., Horneck, G., Melosh, H.J., and Setlow, P. (2000) Resistance of Bacillus endospores to extreme terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 64:548–572.
Nickle, N.L. (1971) Surveyor III material analysis program. In Proceedings of the 2nd Lunar Science Conference, Vol. 3, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, pp 2683–2697.
Orloff, R.W. (2000) Apollo by the Numbers: A Statistical Reference. NASA Technical Bulletin SP-2000-4029, Washington, DC, p 334.
Plescia, J.B., Robinson, M.S., Wagner, R., and Baldridge, R. (2016) Ranger and Apollo S-IVB spacecraft impact craters. Planet Space Sci 124:15–35.
Portner, D.M., Spiner, D.R., Hoffman, R.K., and Phillips, C.R. (1961) Effect of ultrahigh vacuum on viability of microorganisms. Science 134:2047.
Powers, E.M. (1967) Microbiological burden on the surfaces of explorer XXXIII spacecraft. Appl Microbiol 15:1045–1048.
Puleo, J.R., Oxborrow, G.S., Fields, N.D., and Hall, H.E. (1970) Quantitative and qualitative microbiological profiles of the Apollo 10 and 11 spacecraft. Appl Microbiol 20:384–389.
Puleo, J.R., Henney, M.R., and Ellis, W.L. (1973a) Changes in fungal autoflora of Apollo astronauts. Appl Microbiol 26:804–813.
Puleo, J.R., Oxborrow, G.S., Fields, N.D., Herring, C.M., and Smith, L.S. (1973b) Microbiological profiles of four Apollo spacecraft. Appl Microbiol 26:838–845.
Puleo, J.R., Fields, N.D., Bergstrom, S.L., Oxborrow, G.S., Stabekis, P.D., and Koukol, R.C. (1977) Microbiological profiles of the Viking spacecraft. Appl Environ Microbiol 33:379–384.
Reitz, G. (2008) Characteristics of the radiation field in low Earth orbit and in deep space. Z Med Phys 18:233–243.
Reitz, G., Horneck, G., Facius, R., and Schäfer, M. (1995) Results of space experiments. Radiat Environ Biophys 34:139–144.
Reitz, G., Berger, T., and Matthiae, D. (2012) Radiation fields and radiation exposure at the lunar surface. Planet Space Sci 74:78–83.
Rummel, J.D. (2004) Strep, lies, and 16mm film: did S. mitis survive on the Moon? Should humans be allowed on Mars? Int J Astrobiology Suppl S1:7.
Rummel, J.D., Alton, J.H., and Morrison, D. (2011) A microbe on the Moon? Surveyor III and lessons learned for future sample return missions. In Conference for Solar System Sample Return Missions, The Woodlands, TX; Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, Abstract 5023.
Rummel, J.D., Beaty, D.W., Jones, M.A., Bakermans, C., Barlow, N G., Boston, P.J., Chevrier, V.F., Clark, B.C., de Vera, J.-P., Gough, R.V., Hallsworth, J.E., Head, J.W., Hipkin, V.J., Kieft, T.L., McEwen, A.S., Mellon, M.T., Mikucki, J.A., Nicholson, W.L., Omelon, C.R., Peterson, R., Roden, E.E., Lollar, B.S., Tanaka, K.L., Viola, D., and Wray, J.J. (2014) A new analysis of Mars “Special Regions”: findings of the Second MEPAG Special Regions Science Analysis Group (SR-SAG2). Astrobiology 14:887–968.
Saffary, R., Nandakumar, R., Spencer, D., Robb, F.T., Davila, J.M., Swartz, M., Ofman, L., Thomas, R.J., and DiRuggiero, J. (2002) Microbial survival of space vacuum and extreme ultraviolet irradiation: strain isolation and analysis during a rocket flight. FEMS Microbiology Letters 215:163–168.
Schubert, W.W. and Beaudet, R.A. (2011) Determination of lethality rate constants and D-values for heat-resistant Bacillus spores ATCC 29669 exposed to dry heat from 125°C to 200°C. Astrobiology 11:213–223.
Schuerger, A.C. (2004) Microbial ecology of the surface exploration of Mars with human-operated vehicles. In Martian Expedition Planning, edited by C.S. Cockell, Univelt Publishers, Escondido, CA, pp 363–386.
Schuerger, A.C., Mancinelli, R.L., Kern, R.G., Rothschild, L.J., and McKay, C P. (2003) Survival of endospores of Bacillus subtilis on spacecraft surfaces under simulated martian environments: implications for the forward contamination of Mars. Icarus 165:253–276.
Schuerger, A.C., Richards, J.T., Hintze, P.E., and Kern, R.G. (2005) Surface characteristics of spacecraft components affect the aggregation of microorganisms and may lead to different survival rates of bacteria on Mars landers. Astrobiology 5:545–559.
Schuerger, A.C., Richards, J.T., Newcombe, D.A., and Venkateswaran, K.J. (2006) Rapid inactivation of seven Bacillus spp. under simulated Mars UV irradiation suggests minimum forward contamination around landing sites. Icarus 181:52–62.
Schwendner, P., Moissl-Eichinger, C., Barczyk, S., Bohmeier, M., Pukal, R., and Rettberg, P. (2013) Insights into the microbial diversity and bioburden in a South American spacecraft clean room. Astrobiology 13:1140–1154.
Siegler, M.A., Bills, B.G., and Paige, D.A. (2011) Effects of orbital evolution on lunar ice stability. J Geophys Res Planets 116:E03010.
Slaba, T.C., Blattnig, S.R., and Clowdsley, M.S. (2011) Variation in lunar neutron dose estimates. Radiation Research 176:827–841.
Smithers, G.A., Nehls, M.K., Hovater, M.A., Evans, S.W., Miller, J.S., Broughton, R.M., Beale, D., and Kilinc-Balci, F. (2007) A One Piece Lunar Regolith-Bag Garage Prototype. In NASA Technical Report NASA/TM-2007-215073, Marshall Flight Center, Huntsville, AL.
Stieglmeier, M., Wirth, R., Kminek, G., and Moissl-Eichinger, C. (2009) Cultivation of anaerobic and facultatively anaerobic bacteria from spacecraft-associated clean rooms. Appl Environ Microbiol 75:3484–3491.
Stooke, P.J. (2007) The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, p 440.
Sullivan, T.A. (1994) Catalog of Apollo Experiment Operations. NASA Publication RP-1317. NASA, Washington, DC, p 184.
Taylor, G.R. (1974) Space microbiology. Annu Rev Microbiol 28:121–137.
Taylor, G.R., Henney, M.R., and Ellis, W.L. (1973) Changes in the fungal autoflora of Apollo astronauts. Appl Microbiol 26:804–813.
Torsvik, V., Sorheim, R., and Goksoyr, J. (1996) Total bacterial diversity in soil and sediment communities—a review. J Ind Microbiol 17:170–178.
Vaniman, D., Reedy, R., Heiken, G., Olheft, G., and Mendell, W. (1993) The lunar environment. In: Lunar Sourcebook: A Users Guide to the Moon, edited by G. Heiken, D.T. Vaniman, and B.M. French, Cambridge University Press, New York; Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, pp 27–60.
Vasavada, A.R., Bandfield, J.L., Greenhagen, B.T., Hayne, P.O., Siegler, M.A., Williams, J.-P., and Paige, D.A. (2012) Lunar equatorial surface temperatures and regolith properties from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer experiment. J Geophys Res Planets 117:E00H18.
Venkateswaran, K., Satomi, M., Chung, S., Kern, R., Koukol, R., Basic, C., and White, D. (2001) Molecular microbial diversity of a spacecraft assembly facility. Syst Appl Microbiol 24:311–320.
Wagner, R.V., Nelson, D.M., Plescia, J.B., Robinson, M.S., Speyerer, E.J., and Mazarico, E. (2017) Coordinates of anthropogenic features on the Moon. Icarus 283:92–103.
Ward, D.M., Bateson, M.M., Weller, R., and Ruff-Roberts, A.L. (1992) Ribosomal RNA analysis of microorganisms as they occur in nature. Adv Microbial Ecol 12:219–286.
Whitfield, O., Merek, E.L., and Oyama, V.I. (1973) Effect simulated lunar impact on the survival of bacterial spores. Space Life Sci 4:291–294.
Wilson, J.W., Shinn, J.L., Simonsen, L.C., Cucinotta, F.A., Dubey, R.R., Jordan, W.R., Jones, T.D., Chang, C.K., and Kim, M.Y. (1997) Exposures to Solar Particle Events in Deep Space Missions. NASA TP 3668. NASA Headquarters, Washington DC.
Zeitlin, C., Hassler, D.M., Cucinotta, F.A., Ehresmann, B., Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F., Brinza, D.E., Kang, S., Weigle, G., Böttcher, S., Böhm, E., Burmeister, S., Guo, J., Köhler, J., Martin, C., Posner, A., Rafkin, S., and Reitz, G. (2013) Measurements of energetic particle radiation in transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory. Science 340:1080–1084.

Information & Authors


Published In

cover image Astrobiology
Volume 19Issue Number 6June 2019
Pages: 730 - 756
PubMed: 30810338


Published online: 11 June 2019
Published in print: June 2019
Published ahead of print: 18 March 2019
Accepted: 7 January 2019
Received: 6 September 2018


Request permissions for this article.




Andrew C. Schuerger [email protected]
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
John E. Moores
Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science (CRESS), York Univesity, Toronto, ON Canada.
David J. Smith
Space Biosciences Division, NASA, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.
Günther Reitz
Department of Radiation Dosimetry, Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS, Praha, Czech Republic.
Radiation Biology Division, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center, Cologne, Germany.


Address correspondence to: Andrew C. Schuerger, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, 505 Odyssey Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953 [email protected]

Authors' Contributions

All coauthors participated in the writing of the article. A.C.S. conceptually envisioned the LMS model and conducted the empirical experiments described in Figs. 2 and 3 and reviewed the literature to collect data used in Figs. 1 and 4. J.E.M. used the data given in Tables 1 and 3 and Figs. 1–4 to generate the LMS model. In addition, J.E.M. used the LMS model to then generate the data given in Tables 2 (columns 5–7) and 4 (columns 2 and 3), and Figs. 5 and 6. D.J.S. compiled the data given in Table 1 and assisted A.C.S. with the lunar simulation experiments. G.R. developed the data sets used for ionizing radiation parameters given in Table 2.

Author Disclosure Statement

There are no competing financial interests for the authors.

Metrics & Citations



Export citation

Select the format you want to export the citations of this publication.

View Options

Get Access

Access content

To read the fulltext, please use one of the options below to sign in or purchase access.

Society Access

If you are a member of a society that has access to this content please log in via your society website and then return to this publication.

Restore your content access

Enter your email address to restore your content access:

Note: This functionality works only for purchases done as a guest. If you already have an account, log in to access the content to which you are entitled.

View options


View PDF/ePub

Full Text

View Full Text







Copy the content Link

Share on social media

Back to Top