Radiation levels at the Martian surface appear to be roughly similar to those experienced by astronauts in low-Earth orbit, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has found.

The rover's initial radiation measurements — the first ever taken on the surface of another planet — may buoy the hopes of human explorers who may one day put boots on Mars, for they add more support to the notion that astronauts can indeed function on the Red Planet for limited stretches of time.