Radiation data gathered by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity -- both on the way to the Red Planet and while on the planet's surface -- suggest astronauts on a two-and-a-half year mission there would receive a total radiation dose of about 1.1 sieverts, the space agency reported.
"The rough ballpark average for an astronaut career limit is on the order of a sievert," Curiosity scientist Don Hassler of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., said Monday.
Data from instruments on Curiosity show radiation levels on the Martian surface -- about 0.7 millisieverts a day -- are similar to the 0.4 to 1.0 daily millisieverts astronauts in low-Earth orbit encounter, SPACE.com reported.
Levels encountered in space during the long trip to Mars would be a greater concern, scientists said.
Radiation levels recorded by Curiosity instruments during the 8-month voyage to Mars averaged 1.9 millisieverts a day.
"We can survive the Mars surface," Hassler said. "The hard part is the cruise."
Hassler made the comments at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
2014: The Year in Fashion [PHOTOS]
MAVEN now orbiting Mars