NASA's Curiosity rover found that the levels of radiation on the surface of Mars are similar to those experienced by International Space Station astronauts in low-Earth orbit. The findings indicate that Mars has an essential amount of shielding from fast-moving and dangerous space particles, which could raise hopes for human exploration there since astronauts could function and survive for a limited time. "If we can find out more about the weather and climate on present-day Mars, then that really helps us to improve our understanding of Mars' atmospheric processes," said Ashima Research's Claire Newman in Pasadena, Calif.

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