Mars radiation fine for humans, Curiosity finds

With radiation levels on Mars apparently safe, how long will it be before astronauts start exploring the ‘Total Recall’ planet?

(Credit: TriStar Pictures)

“Now, this is the plan. Get your ass to Mars.”

We all remember Schwarzenegger motivating himself to go to the Red Planet in “Total Recall” (anyone bother watching the remake?) and sure we’d like to go too. Now NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has determined that radiation levels on the planet’s surface are safe for human explorers.

“The astronauts can live in this environment,” Don Hassler, principal investigator on Curiosity’s Radiation Assessment Detector instrument (RAD), told a news conference.

“Basically, we’re finding that the Mars atmosphere is acting as a shield for the radiation on the surface and as the atmosphere gets thicker, that provides more of a shield and therefore we see a dip in our radiation dose,” Hassler said.

The findings mark the first time that cosmic rays have been measured on the surface of another planet, and come 100 years after Victor Hess discovered co… [Read more]

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