SpaceX is gearing up to head over to Mars in a few years and NASA’s moon missions are currently seen as a stepping stone tot he Red Planet.
On the other hand, unfortunately, Mars is not as friendly as we’d like it to be – the planet could definitely kill us.
The gravity is detrimental to our bones and muscles and it doesn’t provide protection from radiation. More than that, the Red Planet is extremely cold.
If we as humans ever want to colonize Mars, this means that we have to come up with some pretty unique ways of surviving there.
Frozen smoke could turn out helpful
An international team of experts came up with a new proposal that would be beneficial for humans: using silica aerogel. This is also cold frozen smoke at times because of the way it looks.
This could warm up the surface of the Red Planet enough and melt frozen water. The aerogel is a lightweight material that’s already manufactured on Earth and it’s currently being used in NASA’s Mars rovers as insulation.
The study, published yesterday in the journal Nature Astronomy, reports that it created Mars-in-a-box, simulating the light that hits the planet’s surface in the lab and placing a layer of aerogel, around an inch thick, over the top.
“We used a customized solar simulator to reproduce the spectrum and intensity of the sunlight falling on the Martian surface,” said Robin Wordsworth, the leading author of the study.
He and his colleagues have measured the temperature and how much UV radiation can pass through the aerogel.
The team’s focus was to replicate the atmosphere of Earth on the Red Planet and see the effects.
“Earth’s atmosphere raises surface temperature via the greenhouse effect, and blocks UV radiation via the ozone layer,” he said.
He continued and said, “Any solution to habitability on Mars must do these two things, as a minimum.”
The conclusion was that the aerogel which looks like a frozen cloud was able to block the UV radiation, but it allowed enough visible light to pass through in order to warm the surface of the Red Planet.
I have been blogging and posting articles for over eight years, but my passion for writing dates back in 2000. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues. When I’m not researching and writing the latest news, I’m either watching sci-fi and horror movies or checking out places worth visiting and building deep memories for later in life. I believe in empathy and continually improving myself.