SR2S Mars Project Endorsed By Leading Astrophysics Academic

Leading Astrophysicist, Dr Joseph Roche from Trinity College Dublin, has formally endorsed the SR2S Mars project. SR2S Mars is an EU FP7 funded research project that has designed a shielding mechanism to protect astronauts during deep space missions, including future missions to Mars.

Carr Communications, one of the SR2S Project members, asked Dr Roche his opinion on the validity of this FP7 funded project to create a protective shield for astronauts’ use while spending extended periods of time in space. He said:

“We need to look towards the future. SR2S Mars certainly does that and is a step forward in advancements needed for the future of deep space missions. Protection is one of the first things we need to address and SR2S Mars is working to address this challenge.”

Latest research findings show that the levels of radiation exposure in space for astronauts is far more extensive and dangerous than originally anticipated. Speaking about this, Dr Roche said:

“One of the main obstacles is the radiation exposure. We don’t know how to deal with the consequences. For example, there have been proposals for potential spacecraft to have a radiation shelter inside a hollow water tank. In this way the astronauts water supply could provide additional shielding during solar storms. However this is an experimental idea and needs further development.”

In response to questions about the viability of humans and robots going to Mars, the Professor said:

“It would be more useful to have living, thinking, human scientists on the surface of Mars. However, we shouldn’t give up on robotic rovers as they will remain crucial to improving our understanding of the Martian surface before manned missions are ever considered.”

SR2S focuses on the use of superconducting magnets to deflect dangerous radiation on manned missions into deep space. It has developed a range of innovative components and technologies that are light, compact, energy-efficient and reliable.

The project’s advances include cutting-edge superconducting materials, and a powerful system to cool the equipment that is exposed to the sun.

Project Coordinator, Roberto Battiston from the National Institute of Physics in Italy said:

“These breakthroughs are hugely significant for manned space exploration. Further development is needed to prepare the technology for deployment, which could take up to 20 years.”

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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