NASA has a plan to make Mars habitable that involves deploying a large artificial magnetic shield in its orbit.
NASA has a plan to make Mars habitable for future interplanetary travel. Many believe that the only way for the human species to survive extinction is to abandon Earth. But before this can happen, we would first have to find a planet with the necessary conditions to inhabit it. Mars is being targeted for this goal because it is the closest planet to us; however, it is completely desolate and NASA believes that an artificial magnetic shield would make it friendly to humans.
A completely inhospitable world
Thanks to the rovers that are currently exploring Mars, we know that it is an arid and desolate planet, whose atmosphere is almost non-existent, and from this fact, we can deduce almost all the impediments for it to be habitable. During the day its temperatures are similar to those of Earth, but when night falls, the extremely weakened atmosphere is not able to retain heat and thermometers plummet to -129ºC.
Furthermore, we know that there are not sufficient quantities of water for humans to ever inhabit Mars, it is a completely desolate planet. But the evidence points to the fact that at some point in its history, the Red Planet was, in fact, a prolific planet with a dense atmosphere and large oceans covering its land.
The plan to make Mars habitable
At the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop in Washington, the head of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, James Green, said the agency’s scientists proposed a plan to make Mars habitable.
The idea includes placing an artificial magnetic field around the Martian orbit. In this way, the Red Planet would be protected from the incessant radiation coming from the Sun, which we on Earth do not have to worry about thanks to our natural magnetic field.
[Photo: NASA/Goddard/MAVEN/CU Boulder/SVS]
Mars’ magnetic field is not functional for life, as it has been discovered that its interior does not have a large molten iron core like Earth’s. Instead, it has amorphously distributed iron deposits; the immediate consequence is that its magnetic field does not allow for a dense atmosphere to be created. Instead, it has iron deposits distributed in an amorphous way; the immediate consequence is that its magnetic field does not allow the creation of a dense atmosphere like the terrestrial one, and with this, all the conditions are suitable for life.
In that vein, Green described the idea of launching an artificial magnetic shield that would be placed in a stable orbit between Mars and the Sun. It would be made of a large electrical circuit powerful enough to generate an artificial magnetic field.
[Photo: NASA/Goddard/MAVEN/CU Boulder/SVS/Cindy Starr]
In this way, the magnetic shield would allow Mars to slowly restore its atmosphere over a few years. And with this would come a series of changes to the planet that would make it habitable; a denser atmosphere would make temperatures much more stable thanks to the greenhouse effect, and this in turn would allow liquid water to exist on the surface. “Perhaps one-seventh of the ancient ocean could return to Mars,” Green said.
For now, everything has remained an idea, but it cannot be ruled out that in the future when interplanetary travel is finally possible, the artificial Martian shield could become a reality.
Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera