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NASA’s planned Mars 2020 rover likely will both continue the astrobiological exploration of Mars begun by the Curiosity rover and provide stepping stones to the next stages of Martian exploration.

Two weeks ago, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover Science Definition Team (SDT) delivered its report recommending the science goals for the mission. Probably to the surprise of no one, the team recommended essentially the same science goals as had several previous SDTs on what NASA’s next mission to Mars should do.

Like the Curiosity rover currently on Mars and the planned European and Russian ExoMars rover mission, the 2020 rover will look for clues as to whether Mars ever contained the conditions to enable life and whether traces of life or pre-biotic chemistry remain.

The mission will also provide an important transition to the next phases of Mars exploration by caching samples that could eventually be returned to Earth and testing technologies for future human and robotic missions.

Radiation issues for manned Mars mission

sidebar radiation article

During the rover's cruise to Mars between December 2011 and July 2012, RAD showed that an astronaut would clock up the same radiation dose in a day that the average American receives in a year. If you exclude medical dosages, it would be 10 times more than the average American.

See original article from The Guardian here.

Materials that Halt Hazardous Space Radiation

Radiation has long been an issue when it comes to space travel. In fact, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity recently confirmed previous research on the hazards of space radiation, revealing that radiation levels on the way to the Red Planet are several hundred times higher than the those humans receive on Earth. Now, scientists may have found a way to shield astronauts from the hazards of this radiation.

See original article from Science World Report here.

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Current Project Status

The SR2S project is nearing completion. Project partners presented their technological achievements at the final project dissemination event in Brussels in December 2015. To read more about this event, click here.

Next Project Milestone

The final project review meeting will take place in January 2016. Further information and final project results will be available after this date.

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