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December 4 2012

Astronauts Could Survive Mars Radiation for Long Stretches, Rover Study Suggests


SAN FRANCISCO Astronauts could endure a long-term, roundtrip Mars mission without receiving a worryingly high radiation dose, new results from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity suggest.

A mission consisting of a 180-day outbound cruise, a 600-day stay on Mars and another 180-day flight back to Earth would expose an astronaut to a total radiation dose of about 1.1 sieverts (units of radiation) if it launched now, according to measurements by Curiosity's Radiation Assessment Detector instrument, or RAD.

That's a pretty manageable number, researchers said.

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