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Mars radiation less than thought - missions more practical

Evan Burton

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The risk of radiation exposure is not a show-stopper for a long-term manned mission to Mars, new results from NASA's Curiosity rover suggest.

A mission consisting of a 180-day cruise toMars, a 500-day stay on the Red Planet and a 180-day return flight to Earth would expose astronauts to a cumulative radiation dose of about 1.01 sieverts, measurements by Curiosity's Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument indicate.

To put that in perspective: The European Space Agency generally limits its astronauts to a total career radiation dose of 1 sievert, which is associated with a 5-percent increase in lifetime fatal cancer risk. [Mars Radiation Threat to Astronauts Explained (Infographics)]


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I'm confused about whether these readings/results refer to an unshielded environment, existing shielding methods or proposed/expected ones. I wonder what this means re the electronics on the proposed mission and how that will be dealt with. ?

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