The reason for the SR2S project is to explore the issues of radiation protection for astronauts as this is the issue which is preventing space missions beyond short Apollo missions.
As the recent NASA Curiosity rover proved, a mission to Mars would expose astronauts to an extremely high level of radiation just on the journey to and from Mars, nevermind the dangers when on the planet itself.
This project is to investigate, design and develop a magnetic shield technology to protect astronauts from space radiation which will enable and support space science and exploration.
But what are the radiation issues currently in space that has resulted in this project ?
Our good friends at Space.com have put together a short video to explain the issues of space radiation and why new technologies are vital.