Nasa scientists want to build a magnetic shield around Mars
A Nasa scientist believes that by putting a man-made magnetic shield around Mars, the conditions on the Red Planet will not be as harsh and will make it easier for humans to settle there.
Speaking at the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop at the Nasa headquarters, Washington, Nasa’s Planetary Science Division Director James Green said that putting a magnetic shield on Mars could help to restore its atmosphere.
Mars was likely once abundant in water, but as its atmosphere depleted by almost 90 per cent over billions of years, the environment on the planet became desert-like.
Mr Green proposes that a large magnetic shield, in the form of a large dipole, is placed between the Sun and Mars which would protect the Red Planet from the deadly solar rays and winds.
An atmosphere will allow water to be sustained on Mars
Mr Green said: “This situation then eliminates many of the solar wind erosion processes that occur with the planet’s ionosphere and upper atmosphere allowing the Martian atmosphere to grow in pressure and temperature over time.”
He continued: “This is not terraforming as you may think of it where we actually artificially change the climate, but we let nature do it, and we do that based on the physics we know today.”
The magnetic shield will make future colonisation of Mars easier
By doing this a greenhouse effect would kick in, causing the ice beneath the Martian poles to melt, slowly returning water to the surface.
The Nasa scientist added: "Perhaps one-seventh of the ancient ocean could return to Mars.
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"The solar system is ours, let's take it. That of course includes Mars and for humans to be able to explore Mars, together, with us doing science, we need a better environment.”