Rovers Pave the Way for Astronauts on Mars

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Video imagery:
  • NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of Mars, 2016: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (ASU), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute)
  • NASA Perseverance rover, images of itself on Mars: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
  • NASA Curiosity rover image of Murray Buttes region on lower Mount Sharp, Mars: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
  • NASA Curiosity rover, image of self in Murray Buttes region, Mars: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak, Joseph Olmsted
Science review: Dr. Christopher Britt
Education review: Jim Manning
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Objects and gases of various colors in outer space. Text, News from the Universe
November 22, 2021. Rovers Pave The Way For Astronauts On Mars
Unlike Earth, Mars doesn't have a magnetic field to shield it from high-energy particle radiation.
NASA's robotic rovers Curiosity and Perseverance are collecting important radiation data to prepare for human exploration of Mars.
Radiation poses serious dangers to astronauts' health and habitat life support systems.
Perseverance carries samples of space suit material to assess how they hold up to radiation over time.
Curiosity is taking radiation measurements in different environments, including the Murray Buttes region shown here.
Curiosity shows that natural materials such as the rock and sediment on Mars could offer some protection.
Confirmation of these results could mean future Mars astronauts sheltering in caves or underground habitats.
This news was brought to you in part by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA