As a part of Europe’s strategy for space exploration, endorsed by the European Union Council of Research, ESA set up the Aurora Programme in 2001. The aim for this program is to explore the solar system and the universe, stimulate new technology, and inspire young people of Europe to take a greater interest in science and technology. A second objective is to search for life beyond the Earth. Future missions under the program will carry sophisticated exobiology payloads to investigate the possibility of life-forms existing on other worlds within the solar system. It is clear that mankind wants to explore space. The exploration of space as seen in specific projects from ESA within the Aurora Programme, for example, the search for life on MARS (EXOMARS) or other initiatives such as the further exploration of the Moon, act as groundwork for human long duration space missions. However, one of the main constraints for long duration human missions in space, besides the psychological factors and the impact of microgravity on the human physiological system, is radiation. The radiation load on astronauts and cosmonauts in space (as for the ISS) is a factor of 100 higher than on earth. This radiation load will further increase should humans travel to MARS. In preparation for long duration space missions it is important to ensure that ESA has an excellent capability to evaluate the impact of space radiation in order to secure the safety of the astronaut/cosmonaut and minimize their risks. It is therefore essential to gather and focus all possible knowledge in terms of space radiation experiments to enable future generations to travel where nobody has gone before. The HAMLET consortium aims to advance this knowledge by focussing and connecting the leading European scientists in space radiation dosimetry, to explore and exploit the vast amount of data gathered within the European MATROSHKA project.

The HAMLET project is funded by the European Commission under the EU’s
Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and coordinated by the
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

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