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Mars rover checks for radiation

The Curiosity rover has started gathering data about the radiation environment on the surface of Mars.

Its Radiation Assessment Detector (Rad) instrument is trying to characterise the flux of high-energy atomic and subatomic particles reaching the Red Planet from the Sun and distant exploded stars.

Rad principal investigator Don Hassler told our correspondent Jonathan Amos that the instrument was really two detectors in one.

Go to next video: Mars rover pictured from space